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Boxing Day

Updated on December 31, 2009

What is Boxing Day

Boxing day is a bank and public holiday in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, England and many other countries including most Commonwealth countries. It is traditionally celebrated on 26th December, however the Boxing Day is the first weekday after Christmas.

What's in a name?

Traditionally, 26th December was the day for opening the Christmas box to share the contents with the poor. The Christmas box was in fact a wooden or a clay container to put gifts.


Boxing Day officially began in England in the middle of the 19 century under the rule of Queen Victoria. Traditionally servants used to have a day off of their duties on this day. Due to this the gentry would have a buffet style cold dinner prepared in advance by the servants. Many families will follow this tradition in the modern times also by eating the cold cuts in buffet style instead of a fully-cooked meal.

History clearly states it that Boxing Day is primarily a day of sharing with the poor. Gifts and goods are shared with them on this day.

Cyber Boxing Day

In the world of online selling and retailing, it is sometimes known as the Cyber Boxing Day. In England, Boxing Day of 2008 was the busiest online shopping day of the year(Wikipedia).


It is known as "Day of Goodwill" in South Africa.

The IIHF World U20 Championship (Ice Hockey) typically begins on 26 December. It is most often hosted in Canada.

It is thought unlucky to kill a Wren on any day of the year except the Boxing Day. Therefore hunting of the Wren was once a popular tradition in England.

A Christmas box was placed on a ship setting off for exploring new lands to bring it goodluck. It used to be placed there by a priest and the crewmen who wanted a safe journey would drop money into it and then it was sealed. If the ship returned safely the box was handed over to the priest who will keep it until the next Christmas to share the contents of the box with the poor.


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    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 8 years ago

      I know... lol! :)

    • ethel smith profile image

      Eileen Kersey 8 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      In the UK it is also calles St Stephen's Day

    • Ultimate Hubber profile image

      Ultimate Hubber 8 years ago

      Thanx Dohn. Things from history are really interesting to read.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Great info, UH. This is the first time I'm learning about Boxing Day. A fascinating read.