The Origins of Boxing Day

The Origins of Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a British celebration held just after Christmas. The only problem is, nobody is certain why it’s called Boxing Day.

What is Boxing Day?

If you're wondering why the day after Christmas is called Boxing Day, I hope, like me, you find the answers below interesting. But first off I must say; it has nothing to do with the sport of boxing.

Its origins are steeped in history and tradition.  Arguments abound on the origins of the name Boxing Day, all of the answers here are relevant, so maybe it is all of them.

  • A ‘Christmas Box’ in Britain is a name for a Christmas present.
  • Boxing Day was a day off for servants and when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.
  • A box to collect money for the poor was placed in Churches on Christmas day then opened the next day.
  • Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck.If the voyage were a success the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents given to the poor.
Everyone agrees that Boxing Day is a time to spend with family or friends, usually those not seen on Christmas Day itself.

The New Boxing Day Sport – Shopping:

Another ‘sport’ to emerge in recent years is shopping. What was once a day of relaxation and family time sees the start of the sales. Sales used to start in January post-New Year but the desire to grab a bargain and for shops to off-load stock means many now start on Boxing Day.