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Are You Familiar With 'Boxing Day'?

Updated on July 5, 2011
Public Domain Image
Public Domain Image
The commonwealth nations (Public Domain Image)
The commonwealth nations (Public Domain Image)

Who Celebrates Boxing Day?

Most people know of December 24th - Christmas Eve - and December 25th - Christmas Day - but if you live in the United States or another country in which the 26th or December is not celebrated, chances are, you don't know what Boxing Day is. Before continuing this Hub, I have to mention that Boxing Day is NOT a day to observe the sport of boxing. That's usually what people assume when I tell them about the Holiday.

Since moving to America at the age of 7, every year on December 26th, I'm sure to yell, "Happy Boxing Day!" to what ever family member is around to hear, despite our failure to actually celebrate the post-Christmas event.

Boxing Day is celebrated in the Commonwealth of Nations, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the Neatherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden, Norway, Greenland, Hong Kong, Ghana, Nigeria. Kenya, Trinidad & Tobago, Guyana and Jamaica.

Boxing Day is also celebrated in South Africa but is known as the Day of Goodwill. In some parts of the US - states close to the Canadian border - Boxing day is well known but is not an official holiday.

Okay... but WHAT is Boxing Day?

Boxing Day is also known as the Feast of St. Stephen which began in England during the reign of Queen Victoria. St. Stephen was a Christian martyr and one of the seven original deacons of the Christian Church. He was designated to care for the poor and for widows. However, St. Stephen was stoned to death. Boxing Day was initially celebrated in commemoration of St. Stephen.

The holiday was for merchant class people who gave away boxes, to servants and other people, of clothing, money, food and fruit - an expression of gratitude; something similar to a 'bonus.'

During Christmastime, Churches used to open alms boxes to be given out by the clergy to the poor the day after Christmas.

As time - and years - progressed, Boxing Day became a time for family and friends. During the holiday, people gather to play sports. Soccer, horse racing and hunting are especially popular during this time in the locations where Boxing Day is celebrated.

Boxing Day Sales

In Canada, the biggest sales occur during boxing day. Boxing Day is also a shopping holiday in Australia, New Zealand and the UK. It is similar to Thanksgiving and Black Friday sales in the United States.

Boxing Day sale (Public Domain Image)
Boxing Day sale (Public Domain Image)

My Personal Experience

As I mentioned before, Boxing Day has become a holiday for family and friends. I'm not sure about other countries, but in Trinidad, on December 26, we travel through our neighbourhoods or perhaps just to other friends' homes and carry a dish. It's a little like a potlock - we all chip in to create a meal and we may even end up eating at more than one person's home.

In America, Thanksgiving is the holiday that has the largest feast. In Trinidad, Christmas and Boxing Day produces the largest feasts. It's really a fun-filled day of getting closer to family and friends, enjoying each other's company and good food as well.

For years, my family has not celebrated Boxing Day but now that I've written this Hub, I should consider reviving my native tradition. Boxing Day is really fun... I have to mention it again. So this year, on December 26th, don't forget to wish a friend or a loved one a Happy Boxing Day.


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    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Cool! Happy Belated birthday, Tony! :D Thanks for commenting.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      7 years ago from South Africa

      It's a great day for me too - it's my birthday! And yes I knew about the origin of Boxing Day from my childhood.

      Thanks for sharing this interesting Hub.

      Love and peace


    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Cool. Well Happy belated Boxing Day and anniversary as well, Sammy. :) Yes, I did have a great Boxing Day. Thanks!

    • sammyfiction profile image


      7 years ago from Australia

      Boxing Day is my favourite day of the year!! :D Not only is it a public holiday for us here(no work), but it is also my anniversary with my partner, as it was at a boxing day party that we made it official! Haha, I hope you had a great boxing day - as I did! :)

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Thank you very much, boxingday special. Your comment means a lot. :)

    • profile image

      boxingday special 

      7 years ago

      After reading this blog I feel that I have gain a lot of good information regarding the topic which will definitely help me in future. Blogs like these should be really kept updated such as this blog.I personally thank to this blogger for doing such a great work.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Well, that's one way to learn about it. :) Thanks for your comment, Ign.

    • Ign Andy profile image

      Ign Andy 

      8 years ago from Green Home Office

      I'm a soccer fan, so when I heard about Boxing day the first thing come up is English Premier League match on Christmas. Great hub.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Yes, memories in the corner of my mind... Great memories! Thanks for commenting!

    • marvalousnj profile image


      8 years ago from Central Jersey USA

      Boxing day is such a fun day!! Christmas day we stay at home with family and have a feast, probably have guest over for a good meal and entertainment but boxing day was a day to get out and visit some folks, play some music and sing and dance!!! Memories, memories....memories.

      Kalto, thank you for the reminder.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello, Pratonix. Nice to 'see' you again. Thanks!

    • Pratonix profile image


      8 years ago from Asia

      Very well written. Thanks for enlightening me about this day. Blessings to you, Kalto.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      I'm always happy to educate, Wendy. Thanks for commenting!

    • Wendy Krick profile image

      Wendy Krick 

      8 years ago from Maryland

      I learned something new. I never heard about boxing day. Thanks for sharing.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Hello, Maita! I want to go to Australia! Oops... I'm a little off topic. Well... I'm happy to teach you more about it. Thanks for commenting!

    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      8 years ago from US

      I heard this one when I went to Australia, now I know more about it, we don't have it here LOL, Thanks again, Maita

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Yup, that's just how we celebrate in Trinidad, viking! Cool. Thanks for sharing that with me. It makes sense to be called St. Stephens Day since that's the origin of the holiday. I like learning new things. Thanks.

    • viking305 profile image

      L M Reid 

      8 years ago from Ireland

      Yes kaltopsyd here in Ireland we celebrate Boxing Day in the same way as you do but we call it St Stephens Day. Its a day when other relatives and friends come to visit and an excuse to finish off the turkey, ham and chocolates from the day before.

    • kaltopsyd profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Trinidad originally, but now in the USA

      Haha, I always find it funny when someone thinks of it as a day for the sport boxing. It makes sense, doesn't it? Thanks, Indian Blues.

      Ms. Audrey, it's cool that you have friend that celebrate it. :-)

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 

      8 years ago from Washington

      Great article - I know about it because of some of my friends celebrating it.

    • theindianblues profile image


      8 years ago from Some where on the Globe

      Nice to know about the back ground of Boxing day. I was thinking like you mentioned - as its a day to celebrate on the sport of Boxing. Good sharing!!


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