What is Boxing Day and when is it celebrated? Despite having the word “boxing” in its name, this 19th-century holiday has little to do with jabs or hooks. Learn about the origins of this “bonus holiday” and how it is celebrated today through shopping, feasts, and sport.
Boxing Day is a holiday in Great Britain and some of the United Kingdom’s Commonwealth nations.
It usually falls on December 26th or the first weekday after Christmas, and it is marked by shopping, feasts, and sports, especially football.
Boxing Day began in the mid-19th century and was originally a holiday when the poor, tradespeople, and servants received gifts.
Employers often gave the day off to their service employees, while also providing bonus pay.
The name “Boxing Day” has nothing to do with the boxing sport, and the origin of the holiday’s name is uncertain.
It may be from the boxes of gifts employers gave to their service employees, or from the alms boxes churches used to collect donations for the poor.
Either way, Boxing Day has evolved into a special “bonus holiday” after Christmas for all who celebrate it.
Original link by The National Geographic.