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Know Everything About Boxing Day Celebrations On December 26

boxing day celebration
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Every year Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom observe a public holiday on December 26 for their people to enjoy Boxing Day celebrations. Traditionally, Boxing Day was a day off from work when the workers received gift boxes from their masters as a Christmas gift. In the past, Boxing Day Celebrations included the tradition of presenting gifts to servants, the poor, and the tradesmen. In the 21st century however, the day is celebrated by participating in sporting events and shopping.

Origin Of Boxing Day

While some believe that opening alms boxes which were placed in churches to collect donations for the poor was the origin of the term Boxing Day and the reason why December 26 was celebrated as Boxing Day, others believe that the term came from the gift boxes which the employers gave to their employees on the next day of Christmas. As servants were required to help in the household celebration of Christmas, they were allowed a leave from work the following day for their own celebrations of Christmas. 

Boxing Day facts

Another theory suggests that December 26 is also observed as the feast day of St. Stephen or commonly known as St. Stephen’s Day. St. Stephen was known to be the patron saint of horses. Thus, Boxing Day Celebrations involved people participating in different sporting events such as horse races, rugby, and even foxhunting. 

Boxing Day Celebrations Across Different Countries 

Today, Boxing Day Celebrations have slightly changed from the past. Now, the employees receive gifts before Christmas in the form of holiday bonuses rather than receiving it on the following day. In different countries, the day is celebrated in different ways. 

1. United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, Boxing Day is observed as a public bank holiday. If December 26 falls on Saturday or Sunday, Boxing Day is celebrated by shifting it to the next working day. In some parts of Britain, the day is also celebrated by upholding the tradition of swimming in the ice-cold water of the English Channel. Other Boxing Day Celebrations include organizing and participating in fun runs and events of charity. Soccer matches also take place along with horse racing in some parts of the UK.

Boxing Day sale
2. Australia

In Australia, Cricket is the go-to sport for celebration as Boxing Day Test Match is held wherein Australia plays against some other country. In parts of Australia, yacht racing and horse racing is also organized. 

yacht racing on Boxing Day

Also Read – Origin, Meaning And Traditions Of Christmas Day Celebrations

3. New Zealand

New Zealand is another country which celebrates Boxing Day by having Cricket matches and also organizes horse racing in order to celebrate the day. 

Boxing Day in New Zealand
4. Canada

The most common way to celebrate Boxing Day in Canada is by stepping out of the house for ice hockey. The ones who choose not to participate, watch ice hockey live in the hockey rinks or the television sets. 

Boxing Day in Canada

Final Words

In present times Boxing Day is also compared with the Black Friday in the USA. This is because in many countries, several shops offer sales on their products and shopping becomes highly common. For a lot of people, it is just a holiday for them to relax and take a break from the festivities before New Year celebrations line up and treat themselves with Christmas leftovers. However, Boxing Day also holds historical and symbolic value and people in these countries still follow the traditions which have been common since earlier times. 

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