Boxing Day Facts

Boxing Day Facts
Boxing Day is celebrated on the day after Christmas, December 26th each year in various countries around the world, generally those that were settled by the British Commonwealth. It is believed that Boxing Day originated because the servants of wealthy families typically had to work on Christmas Day. For their services they were usually presented with gift boxes at the end of Christmas Day, and they were allowed to take the next day off work to spend with their own families. Another theory of the origin of Boxing Day is that churches opened donation boxes in December 26th and distributed the contents to the poor. In the church, December 26th is also the Feast of St. Stephen.
Interesting Boxing Day Facts:
The Oxford English Dictionary defined Boxing Day as "the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box".
The Christmas boxes given to servants in Britain on Boxing Day often contained gifts, or leftover food from the family's Christmas feast.
In England the practice of hunting wrens was once a popular activity on Boxing Day. It was considered unlucky to kill wrens on any other day.
During the Age of Exploration it was not uncommon to place a Christmas box on ships. The money put in the box by sailors, for good luck, was later given to a priest. The priest would open the box on Boxing Day and distribute the money to the poor.
Boxing Day is observed in the United Kingdom, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya, Guyana, South Africa, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and in some U.S. states.
The U.S. states that celebrate Boxing Day as a public holiday include Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky and Kansas.
Some have seen Boxing Day as a day to return Christmas gifts to the store if they were unwanted or needed to be exchanged.
In Britain Boxing Day is a bank holiday and has been since 1871. British banks also stay closed on Christmas, Good Friday, Easter, Whitmonday, and the last Monday in August.
In the Christian Church, December 26th is also the Feast of St. Stephen. This day commemorates St. Stephen for his work in the church, mostly caring for the poor and for widows. He was eventually stoned to death by an angry mob. He is remembered for begging God not to punish his killers as he was being stoned to death.
South Africa changed the name in 1994 from Boxing Day to the Day of Goodwill.
Some people celebrate by gathering gifts to give to poor people at home and around the world.
Some countries have turned Boxing Day into a huge shopping day, similar to Black Friday, with huge markdowns and sales. In some Canadian provinces Boxing Day is a statutory holiday.
In the United Kingdom there is a full day of Premier League football (soccer in North America) on Boxing Day. Rugby, hockey and even horseracing are also popular Boxing Day sporting events.

Related Links:
Holidays Facts
Animals Facts