Boxing Day – (History of the Day after Christmas)

In some countries, mostly those with a previous connection with the United Kingdom, on 26th December, a day after Christmas, Boxing day is marked.

These counties include Canada, South-Africa, and New Zealand. In Germany, the day is known as “Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag” which simply translates to Boxing day.

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The origin of the day dates back to 800 years ago in the middle age United Kingdom. The day was meant for the opening of collection boxes for the poor, these boxes were referred to as alms boxes.

These boxes were in most cases stored in churches, and on the 26th, the contents of these boxes would be shared among the needy people.

This tradition is still in practice in some of the churches in the current times.

The boxes were first introduced to the United Kingdom by the Romans, the Romans would use these boxes during the winter celebrations for collecting gambling money for the games they played during the season.

Rough pottery that is also known as “earthenware” was used in The Netherlands to make the collection boxes, these boxes were designed in the shapes of pigs, this might have prompted the term “piggy banks” which is very common today.

Historically, it was a tradition for servants to have a day off on the boxing day to celebrate Christmas with their families.

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For the working class, in the period ahead of the world war 2, they would move to their delivery places to pick their Christmas boxes or tips.

In the current world, the traditions have been done away with and tips and presents are given to workers who are not necessarily gifted or acquired on Boxing Day.

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In countries like Kenya, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand, Boxing day has officially become a public holiday which is marked in the calendar and celebrated yearly.

It is on Boxing Day that pantomime, a musical comedy stage play that is meant for family entertainment started to play

In the United Kingdom, there are sporting activities that are held on Boxing Day, the most common sports played on this day are soccer matches and horse racing.

Stores in the United Kingdom also record a significant rise in sales and this is compared to the USA’s Black Friday.

St. Stephens day

On 26th December, St. Stephens day is also marked, for clarity, there are two st Stephens in history.

The first one is described by the Holy Bible as the first Christian to die for attesting to the Christianity faith, the bible says that he was stoned to death by his fellow Jews who did not attest to Christianity beliefs.

The other St. Stephens lived in the 800s and worked as a Christian missionary in Sweden.

He was an animal lover and horses were his favorite animals, this might explain the reason why horse riding is a common sport during the Boxing day.

He has also suffered the same fate as he was killed by pagans while carrying out his missionary works in Sweden.

St. Stephen’s Day has a great connection to Boxing Day as on this day there is a big focus on helping the needy people.

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Main Points About Boxing Day

  1. Boxing day has nothing to do with the physical exchange of punches. It is a one-day holiday celebrated on December 26.
  2. Boxing day is celebrated in several countries as part of the Christmas day.
  3. It dates back to the time of Queen Victoria, and today Boxing day is commonly celebrated in countries connected with Britain and the Commonwealth countries.
  4. Boxing day is believed by many to have a theme of charity similar to Saint Stephens Day, a Christian holiday that coincides with Boxing Day.
  5. Historians believe that it is a day when employers give their employees a box of gifts and time off work.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Boxing Day


Boxing day doesn’t mean that there is a boxing match on that day. People from non-christian backgrounds tend to believe boxing day as a famous boxing match. The above information about christmas presents for the poor and opening them on the next day has made it clear about the origin of boxing day.

Word Cloud for Boxing Day

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Boxing Day. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.



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