Thursday, December 26, 2013


Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated in Britain, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. It falls on December 26th, which is also St. Stephen's Day.

St. Stephen was a little known saint who achieved eternal fame by being the first Christian to be martyred for his faith, and he met his death by stoning.

Boxing Day is so called because on this day it was customary for tradesmen to collect their Christmas boxes or gifts in return for good service throughout the year. Also, it included giving money and other gifts to charitable institutions, and the needy. The holiday may date from as early as the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is not known. It may have begun with the Lords and Ladies of England, who gave Christmas boxes/gifts to their servants on December 26, or maybe by priests, who opened the church's alms (charity boxes), and distributed the contents to the poor and needy.

In England this day has become part of the celebrations of being with family-- a day to visit other relations, and to have a rest from the day before, to play fun games. Some families buy a new game each year, but still bring out the old favorites. For some it is good to have the two days, as on one of the days you can visit with your parents, and the other day your in-laws. St. Stephen is the patron saint of horses, so Boxing Day became associated with horse-racing and hunting. Other sports are also held on this day like football and rugby.

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day is the Christmas season for many people in England.

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Boxing Day is a bank holiday or a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada Germany, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and countries in the Commonwealth of Nations with a mainly Christian population. In South Africa this public holiday is now known as the Day of Goodwill.

The name derives from the Anglo-Saxon tradition giving seasonal gifts (in the form of a "Christmas box") to less wealthy people and slaves. In the United Kingdom this was later extended to various workpeople such as labourers, servants, tradespeople and postal workers.

Boxing day is on December 26th in 2009

Public holiday
Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated on 26 December, St. Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas Day. Unlike St. Stephen's Day, Boxing Day is a secular holiday and is not always on 26 December: the public holiday is generally moved to the following Monday if 26 December is a Saturday. If 25 December is a Saturday then both the Monday and Tuesday may be public holidays. However the date of observance of Boxing Day varies between countries.

In Ireland—when it was part of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland—the UK's Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St Stephen as a non-moveable public holiday on 26 December. Since Partition, the name "Boxing Day" is used only by the authorities in Northern Ireland (which remained part of the United Kingdom). Their Boxing Day is a moveable public holiday in line with the rest of the United Kingdom.

The Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971 established "Boxing Day" as a public holiday in Scotland. In the Australian state of South Australia, 26 December is a public holiday known as Proclamation Day.

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