Ever heard of a day called of Boxing Day!! If you thought that the day was related to a Boxers gathering from all corners of the globe for a beat down, nope sorry. Guess you haven’t heard about it then. Alright time to gain some knowledge now. Take a look at the reasons below as to why this Day is so famous along with a few reasons surrounding its origins, its activities and the places where it is celebrated. Also, a few tasty dishes served on this day.
Why is Boxing Day celebrated?
The day is considered an extra day for family and friends to enjoy one last day of feasting on The Christmas leftovers of the previous day. It also happens to be a day where people gather around for sporting events and shopping activities.
In simple words, the day is an extension or recovery day after Christmas. After all the Christmas festivities, food, frolic, and fun have settled down, an extra day is given as a way of letting people have a good rest. But maybe with a bit of cheerful little events too.
When is Boxing Day?
It occurs on December 26th every year and is a national holiday in the UK. If it falls on a weekend, the following day would be considered a holiday and that would be a Monday. Initially, the day was considered an official holiday during the Queen Victoria era. Although some historians trace its origins to the medieval time period.
Boxing day is actually celebrated only in a few countries; especially the ones connected with the UK. Countries include Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and in some European countries.
Boxing Day’s influence is spreading far and wide. Several countries have now adopted this day as one of their public holidays.
Origins of the Name !!
Origins of the Name !!
Very little is known about how Boxing day got its name. Some of the renowned historians think that the holiday’s name was derived from the church practice, where parishioners deposited money or coins in alms boxes placed inside the Church. These alms boxes were later opened the day after Christmas and the collected money was given to the poor. In the past, British employers followed the church’s lead by handing workers and servants gifts more any kind of monetary rewards on December 26.
While many others believe that the box refers to the boxes of gifts the employers had given to their servants on the day after Christmas. In wealthy households, servants had to work on Christmas Day but were given December 26th as an off in order to celebrate the holiday on their own.
Boxing has nothing to do with Boxing Day !!
Most of the time people have mistaken Boxing Day for a day where people wear their red gloves on and knock the daylights out of each other. Despite the name, the celebrations do not include any kind of physical fights involving fists. You have now every reason take part in a Boxing Day activity when your friends call you out for one. No need to worry anymore.
Bank Holiday !!
Boxing Day is officially also considered a bank holiday. So if boxing day was on a Saturday, the following Monday is a bank holiday. If Christmas day falls on Saturday, the following Monday and Tuesday become bank holidays. Throughout the country schools and many other organizations are also closed on this period. Some places even close for the whole week between Christmas and New Year.
A Big day for shopping !!
A big day for shopping
Originally, Boxing Day’s post-Christmas sales have been considered to be one of the busiest shopping days of the year in the U.K. Even though it still comes within the top five biggest shopping days of the year, the popularity of online shopping has decreased the overall spending, people do on December 26.
Activities on Boxing Day !!
Boxing Day is a time to spend with family and friends. Some people even choose to go for a walk in the countryside. In recent times, the day has become closely associated with many different kinds of sports activities.
Boxing day may also be a time where the citizens show some of their weirdness by participating in all kinds of silly traditional activities. These activities can include swimming in the icy cold English channel, marathons and even charity events. Many famous football teams also play matches on Boxing Day.
Fox Hunting !!
However, there is another kind of famous sport that is the highlight of the day, fox hunting. Although it was a long-held tradition till 2004, many animal rights activists and groups finally stopped the practice for good. Traditionally, individuals playing the role of hunters ride on horses dressed in red coats while they’re surrounded by hunting dogs are often considered as a symbolic representation of Boxing Day.
But now since the practice has been forbidden to chase foxes with dogs, hunters now simply follow artificially laid trails.
Other Sports !!
There are also other sports played on Boxing Day in the UK. Two of the most common popular sports events are horse racing and football matches.
Other countries might take boxing a bit too far !!
In several other countries, Boxing Day celebrations are taken more in the literal sense. Yes, they do organize fights. Some former British colonies in Africa and the Caribbean even celebrate the holiday with prizefighting events.
Food and Drinks on Boxing Day !!
Food and Drinks on Boxing Day !!
Lunches are normally buffet or leftovers from the previous day's Christmas Lunches. Baked Ham is one of the popular meat eaten on that day. Other foods can include mince pies with brandy butter, a slice of Christmas cake and other desserts.
Boxing Day in other countries !!
Ireland sometimes refers to December 26 as Wren Day, a tribute to a disturbing old tradition in which poor children would take the life of a wren, and then sell the feathers to neighbors for good luck. Modern day celebrations do not follow the tradition anymore, at least not literally. This time they use fake wrens.
The stoning represented what happened to St. Stephen in the past. The story goes, that St Stephen was one the first Christian martyrs and was remembered for his great acts of charity. But one day he was stoned to death for believing in Jesus. Which is another reason why in Ireland the day is also regarded as St Stephen’s Day as a day of remembrance?
South Africa !!
In South Africa, December 26th is a public holiday known as the Day of Goodwill. Before 1980, the day was commonly referred to as Boxing Day.
In South Australia, 26th December is considered a public holiday but with a different name. The day is referred to as Proclamation Day. The day is celebrated as the proclamation of South Australia as British province by Captain John Hindmarsh when he arrived at Holdfast on 28 December 1836
In Germany, the day is known as "Zweite Feiertag" which translates to “second collaboration”. It can also be called "Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag" which literally translates to the English words Boxing Day.