What is Boxing Day?

 What is Boxing Day?

Boxing day takes place on 26th December, the day after Christmas Day. It is a public holiday for the United Kingdom and the other commonwealth countries; Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Due to the unexplainable name, there are lots of rumours and theories about why boxing day adopted its name. 

Let’s discover what a typical boxing day looks like and where the name came from… 

What happens during the day?

Similarly, Boxing day often involves lots of food and drink just like Christmas day in the commonwealth countries. Most British people like to spend the day hungover in the comfort of their own home or out with friends, recovering from a boozy Christmas day. Alternatively, the people who work in retail or hospitality usually experience one of the busiest working days of the festive period. 

To some families,  it’s an extra day to exchange gifts with the friends and family members that you didn’t get to see the previous day. It’s becoming a lot more common for people to leave the house and take part in more social activities. It’s common for people to go and watch sports events during the day; Premier League football matches, Australian Test Cricket matches, etc. 

Alternatively, lots of big name brands start their winter sales as early as Boxing day, so it’s a great excuse to go and spend your Christmas vouchers.

Unlike Christmas, there’s no specific food or drink that is associated with boxing day. Most families tend to eat their ‘leftovers’ from Christmas day. Due to the time and effort that is put into the previous day, making the Christmas dinner perfect, the food is usually very simple and easy to prepare. A buffet style spread full of carbs, carbs and more carbs… 

Where did the name come from?

Finally, we will now discuss exactly why it is called Boxing day. First of all, let’s make it clear that it has absolutely nothing to do with the sport. 

Dating back to the Victorian period, it’s believed that higher class people used to donate Christmas boxes to their servants and lower-class people. The Christmas boxes or Present boxes were supposedly filled with leftover food from Christmas day and other gifts. The boxes were given to the lower class people as a gesure of good will. As servants and tradespeople were expected to work on Christmas day and serve the higher classes, the day after was a day to recieve gifts  and appreciation for their hard work. 

Therefore, there are no set traditions and expectations for how families should spend their boxing day. To some of us, it’s just a day to spend hungover or an extra day to celebrate with your friends and more distant family members. Anyway,  however you decide to spend your day, we hope it’s filled with joy and happiness! Check out our other Christmas content here.

Charlotte Evans

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