Wednesday 16 November 2016

Why Is It Called Boxing Day?

Boxing Day

Boxing Day, on December 26, is of course the day after Christmas.

It is also a bank holiday or public holiday where many businesses, including banks, are closed and the shops operate shorter opening hours and have huge post-Christmas sales with up to 70% off.

But exactly how Boxing Day got its name is much more shrouded in mystery. Here is everything you need to know.

Why is Boxing Day called Boxing Day?

Some theorise that the name Boxing Day comes from the tradition of churches leaving a box outside their doors to collect money for the less fortunate.

Others suggest the name ‘Boxing Day’ is to do with ships, with those aboard opening up a box of money to give to a priest in aid of the poor.

The most common belief is that ‘Boxing Day’ got its name due to servants and their employers.

Boxing Day was the day that people gave gifts to their servants, boxes of Christmas goodies to share with their families. Samuel Pepys, a naval administrator and Member of Parliament, is noted for writing in 1663: ‘Thence by coach to my shoemaker’s and paid all there, and gave something to the boys’ box against Christmas.’

A second entry said: ‘Called up by drums & trumpets; these things and boxes having cost me much money this Christmas.’

Servants would usually work on Christmas day so this was their day off to celebrate the Christian holiday.

Why is Boxing Day associated with horses?

There is plenty of horse action on Boxing Day with the annual King George VI Chase at Kempton and modified fox hunts, whether you agree with them or not, taking place across the country.

Boxing Day has become associated with horses, not just because it is a bank holiday, but because the date is the feast day of Saint Stephen.

Saint Stephen is the patron saint of horses.

Where in the world is Boxing Day celebrated?

Boxing Day is marked in the UK, Hong Kong, Austrlia, New Zealand, Canada, South Africa and other commonwealth nations. In Ireland they celebrate ‘St Stephen’s day, a saint who was stoned to death for believing in Jesus.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.