Why is December 26 called Boxing Day? This is just a question that millions of people across the world ask on the day after Christmas.
While the name given the day after Christmas has nothing to do with the sport of boxing, it is generally a national holiday in places where Christmas is observed, being a day to spend with family and friends and to eat up all the leftovers of Christmas Day.
The origins of the day, however, are steeped in history and tradition, as reported by The Spruce.
Arguments abound on the origins of the name Boxing Day, but, as noted, it is a reference to holiday gifts.
In England and Ireland, Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants and the day when they received a ‘Christmas Box’ from the master. The servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give ‘Christmas Boxes’ to their families.
Again, the name is a reference to charity drives. A box is made to collect money for the poor traditionally and placed in Churches on Christmas day and opened the next day — Boxing Day.
The name also refers to a nautical tradition. Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck. Where the voyage was a success, the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents then given to the poor.
Boxing Day is a time to spend with family or friends, usually those not seen on Christmas Day itself.
In recent times, the day has become synonymous with many sports, as many top football teams also play on Boxing Day.
So, Happy Boxing Day!