On the heels of Christmas is a new holiday, the boxing day. Celebrated on 26th December, boxing day has become an unofficial holiday in many countries.
While most associate the day with receiving gifts, it is also a day to celebrate both loved ones and the idea of family. On this day, many hold family reunions or simply visit their parents to celebrate the holiday. It is also a day when friends and loved ones get together to exchange gifts.
While it is improbable that Boxing Day will ever replace Christmas in its importance, many look forward to this day in the hopes of receiving presents.
- When’s Boxing Day?
- When Did Boxing Day Start?
- Boxing Day History:
- Where did Boxing Day Start?
- The History of Boxing Day as Understood by Christians
- The Yule Theory
- Boxing Day Traditions
- Boxing Day Walk
- Boxing Day Shopping
- Boxing Day Dances
- Boxing Day Entertainment
- Gift Sharing
- Boxing Day Sport
- Boxing Day Food
- Mistletoe Day
- Carol Singing
- Boxing Day Activities
When’s Boxing Day?
Boxing Day is observed on 26th December.
Is Boxing Day a Public Holiday?
Boxing day is not considered a public holiday. Not all businesses close on this day. So, be sure to check with your place of work before making plans.
When Did Boxing Day Start?
There’s no definitive answer to this question. So many theories have been put forward. The term Boxing Day was first recorded in 1878. However, it isn’t clear when exactly did people begin celebrating it.
According to a popular theory, the day commemorates a tradition of the wealthy in England. In early December, servants in England would receive their annual gifts from their lords and masters. The servants would also gift them back, hence the name boxing.
There’s another theory that says boxing day is a commercial holiday. The retailers introduced it to prolong the season of sales after Christmas day. Around 1870, the British government ended the practice of keeping open stores on Sundays. With no other time left for businesses to keep their shops open, Boxing Day was introduced.
Boxing Day History:
Many believe boxing day originated in the UK, but it can be traced back to ancient Rome.
The practise was prevalent in the Roman Empire during Saturnalia, a pagan festival between 17th and 24th December. During this period, wealthy Romans would give their wealth to their servants. Since no money was exchanged, presents were given in the form of metals like Brass, bronze, and copper. However, the number of coins given was not fixed. It varied from year to year, depending on how much each individual could afford.
During this time, no agricultural work would be done as it was considered unholy. And since most people worked as servants in those days, they made merry and had a good time with their masters.
Boxing Day is directly related to this celebration. It is celebrated the following day after Christmas.
Where did Boxing Day Start?
The term boxing day was first recorded in 1878. Before that, there’s no record of when and how this tradition started. While some believe it originated from the UK, others believe it started much earlier.
Arguments over the origin of this tradition may never come to an end as there’s no evidence to prove any theory right or wrong. In fact, many feel that Boxing Day has nothing to do with its history. It is a day for us to celebrate our loved ones and for families from across the world to get together and bond.
It is also a day when business, big or small, enjoys good sales. Schools, colleges, and offices are closed on this day to give people ample time to shop for their loved ones. If you’re looking to make an impression on your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend, now is the perfect time to do it!
The History of Boxing Day as Understood by Christians
Boxing day has a strong grounding in the birth of Jesus. However, many who celebrate the day don’t understand its significance.
According to Christians, Jesus was born on Christmas day to his mother, Mary. The birth of Jesus was followed by the three wise men who gave gifts of Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh to Jesus and his parents.
The Wise Men couldn’t see Jesus on that night because there was no room at the Inn. So, they went to Bethlehem in search of the baby Jesus. And finally, when they found him, they knelt before him, offered their gifts, worshipping him as well. Herod, who was troubled by the birth of Jesus, ordered to kill every male child in Bethlehem who is under age 2. Mary and Joseph were blessed by an Angel who warned them of Herod’s plan to kill the infant, Jesus.
Finally, they took baby Jesus to Egypt, fearing for their lives. They stayed there until it was safe before returning to their hometown of Nazareth.
Boxing Day celebrations can be traced back to this event because after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph fled with the baby to escape persecution. Shepherds who were watching their flocks at night were the first to see the baby Jesus. They, too, like the wise men, found no place to stay, and so they stayed in a stable where Jesus was born.
On Boxing day, Christians celebrate this event by going to Church in the morning. After attending mass, they visit the nearest orphanages and widow’s homes to give them gifts. Many people give out boxes of chocolates or gift cards so that these less fortunate people can have a merry Christmas too!
Boxing Day has a lot of significance in the birth of Jesus. Many celebrate this day by re-enacting the story of baby Jesus’ birth. Others see it as an opportunity to give back to society and help less fortunate people with gifts.
Either way, most people will agree that Boxing Day is all about celebrating loved ones. It’s a day to get together with family, friends and to enjoy the company of one another!
Since it is very clear that Boxing Day has nothing to do with Boxing, why is it called “Boxing Day”?
This term was originally related to the act of giving alms or boxes. People in service are given Christmas boxes because it signals the first day of their new year.
The Yule Theory
Another notable theory explaining the origin of boxing day is the Yule theory (which means feasting), a pagan festival celebrated by Germanic people. This festival is normally held between mid-November and early January. The Yule celebration was to mark the end of the harvest season and the dark days of winter.
People celebrate this day with ceremonies and rituals. Gifts were exchanged during feasts at this time; those who had no partners gave gifts to members of their family or traded them with neighbours. In this way, they made sure that no one was left out!
Boxing Day Traditions
Traditions are an integral part of every society. When people come together to celebrate, traditions are created. They become a common thread that binds everyone together under one banner.
Boxing day is no different. Every country has its own tradition when it comes to celebrating this holiday. From exchanging gifts with family members to having elaborate Christmas dinners, you’ll find many traditions that touch the heart and bring smiles to faces.
Boxing Day Walk
A popular tradition is to go for a Boxing Day walk. Many people take the opportunity to explore new places as well as come together with family and friends. The perfect day for this is 26th December.
Boxing Day Shopping
Most people in England celebrate Boxing Day by going out and doing some good old Christmas shopping. The sale offers are brilliant, and you get to buy gifts that will truly surprise your loved ones.
Boxing Day Dances
If your idea of fun is watching people dance, then Boxing Day is the time to go out and do so. People come together to enjoy some music, watch others dance, and have fun in general so, if you’re looking for something interesting to do on the 26th, head over to your favourite pub/disco and enjoy the music.
Boxing Day Entertainment
If you enjoy quality comedy, Boxing Day is the time to go out and watch a good show. Theatres around the world play host to beautiful comedies, dramas, and other forms of entertainment. So if you’re looking for some fun on this particular day, head over to see your favourite play or movie.
A lot of people enjoy exchanging presents with their family, friends and loved ones. With everyone busy catching up on their sleep after the Christmas party, Boxing Day becomes the perfect day to do so. Instead of making plans for another outing, this tradition gives us an excuse to stay home and exchange gifts.
Boxing Day Sport
If you want to take a break from your hectic schedule, Boxing Day is the day for sports. Cricket, soccer, and many other games are regularly played on this special occasion. It’s a beautiful way of getting together with friends and family while also enjoying some good “grown-up” time.
Boxing Day Food
Just like people from other countries, the English also enjoy a good meal on Boxing Day. Many restaurants remain closed for this special day. People can have a big feast at home or go out and eat at their favourite restaurant. So if you love your food, this is a perfect time to sit back and have a hearty meal with your loved ones.
Another popular tradition is to hang mistletoe in your living room. It’s a beautiful way of welcoming guests and entertaining them with some good conversation. After all, what better place to chat than under the mistletoe?
A lot of people also enjoy the act of singing carols on Boxing Day. It’s a beautiful way of giving thanks and remembering the birth of Jesus. So whether you’re wearing your Santa hat or singing carols with your church choir, it’s an occasion that brings people together and gives them something to smile about.
Boxing Day Activities
If none of these traditions interests you, don’t worry! Boxing Day is also a wonderful day for shopping, travelling, and catching up on lost sleep. So whether you’re planning on staying home or going out, there are plenty of exciting activities to enjoy.
Boxing Day is the perfect occasion to do something different this year! Everything from watching plays to eating good food, finding romance and having fun with family, there’s something for everyone on 26th December. So if you’re looking for something exciting to do, don’t wait up! Head out and enjoy this special day with your loved ones.