The Origin of Boxing Day

December 26, 2009 at 12:01 am 1 comment

December 26th (today) is Boxing Day.

If you’re American, you might see it on your calendar every year and wonder what it is.  If you live in the UK, Canada, Australia or most other commonwealth countries, then you probably get the day off and don’t really know why.

It is a popular day for sporting events in these countries, but its relation to the sport of boxing is only legend.  In fact, the name is derived from an old tradition of servants and housekeepers collected their gifts (boxes) on the day after Christmas, in exchange for reliable service throughout the year.

In Europe, it dates back to the Middle Ages, although the exact origin is not known. It was traditionally a time when wealthy people gave seasonal gifts to less fortunate people. Today, the holiday is almost entirely secular and for most people it identifies the start of after Christmas sales and shopping sprees.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Kristen  |  December 27, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    I’m Canadian and had no idea where Boxing Day came from. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

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