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Mention ‘Boxing Day’ to Americans, and it’s likely to conjure up images of athletes challenging each other to a few rounds of fisticuffs. But this holiday, which falls on December 26, is not about pugilism at all!
So what does Boxing Day mean, then? The answer is, we’re not exactly sure. And, as it turns out, even the countries that celebrate it don’t agree on a definitive etymology of the term.
There are a number of theories, though, on how Boxing Day got its curious cognomen. One is that the title stems from the European tradition of churches placing metal boxes outside their doors to collect money for the needy. Another is that December 26th was commonly when wealthy people of the UK gave their servants the day off and sent them home to their families with a box full of gifts and food.
Today, in Britain, Canada, New Zealand, and some parts of Australia, Boxing Day is celebrated with an activity that many of us love — shopping! It has thus garnered comparison to the United States’ traditional day of retail deals, Black Friday.
So, no need to step into a ring today with heavily padded gloves. Though, you may want to don some mittens before heading out into the chill to get your fill of sales, then delivering packages to those less fortunate.
Happy Boxing Day!
I’ve wondered about Boxing Day!
YAY to Boxing Day!! We get to stay home and play with our new presents all day. 🙂
* all parts of Australia actually.
Hurray for Boxing Day! Here in Canada, most places extend their sales to make them Boxing Week sales, which is fabulous for several reasons – I get to attend my family Christmas on the 26th (Boxing Day) and I get to blow all my birthday money that I get on the 27th! YESSSSS!
It’s the strangest thing, my city actually has a bylaw that prevents any store from being open on Boxing Day! So we celebrate “Boxing Week” instead.
Boxing day comes from the tradition the day after Christmas where you would box up the leftovers from your Christmas feast and share them with the less fortunate.
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