The first thing that needs to be clear with the name ‘Boxing Day’ is that it does not has any connection to a boxing match. Now, you might wonder, what is Boxing Day, what does it mean and why it was named so? Let’s find out these interesting answers.
What is Boxing Day?
There are many exciting theories about the name. The most straightforward answer will be that it’s an extended holiday. It’s one way to enjoy Christmas celebrations for one more day. It’s a National Bank Holiday, a day to cherish with friends and family.
However, the origin of the day is steeped in history and tradition.
Opinions vary on the roots of the name ‘Boxing Day.’ There are many answers and all of them are valid. So, is one answer true, or all of them? You’ll have to decide for yourself!
- The first theory connects itself to holiday gifts. In Britain, a ‘Christmas Box’ is another name for a Christmas gift. Traditionally, on this day servants would receive a gift from their master and a day off after Christmas. As the servants were awarded a day off, they go home on the Boxing Day to present ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their loved ones.
- The second theory revolves around charity drives. Traditionally, a box was placed in the church for the purpose of collecting money for the poor on Christmas Day. And it was opened the next day, Boxing Day.
- The third theory goes back to marine tradition. Sailors would have a sealed box containing money when setting sail for good luck. When the journey was a success, the sealed box was given to a priest, only to open at Christmas to be distributed among the poor.
When is Boxing Day?
December 26th is Boxing Day and it is a national holiday in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
What Should You Do on Boxing Day?
Boxing Day is a great day to enjoy with family and friends, usually for those who were not able to meet on Christmas Day. In the present, this day has become synonymous to many sports. Particularly, horse racing is one of the most popular events around the country. Also, some top soccer teams play matches on Boxing Day.
It’s also a perfect time when the British take part in all manner of activities. Swimming through the icy cold English Channel, charity events and fun runs are few of the traditional events.
Boxing Day Fox Hunting
Traditionally, the Boxing Day hunt was a major event until 2004. The ban on fox hunting has brought an end to this tradition. Even today, to the sound of a hunting horn, hunters gather dressed splendidly in their red hunting coats. As fox hunting has been banned, an artificial trail is followed instead.
The New Boxing Day Sport
The new ‘sport’ that’s gaining popularity is Boxing Day shopping. The day used to be a day to spend with family and friends, now sees the start of many sales. In the UK, it is the best time to start New Year shopping and gain exceptional bargains on your favorite merchandise and gifts for your family and friends.
Boxing Day Food and Drink
When guests are popping up, it is the ideal day to enjoy snacks, food, and drinks to relax. A buffet of leftovers from Christmas dinner can be your lunch on Boxing Day. Baked ham, mince tarts with brandy butter or a Christmas cake slice or any other dessert makes an excellent food choice for Boxing Day.
How are you planning to celebrate Boxing Day this year?