Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated on 26th December, the day after Christmas. It originated in the United Kingdom and was celebrated in the Commonwealth nations earlier. According to the Oxford dictionary, its origins lie in the mid 1800s “from the custom of giving tradespeople a Christmas box on this day”.
History and origin:
Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants, and the day when they received a special Christmas box from their masters. It was seen as a reward for a year’s worth of service. The other belief is that it comes from the post-Christmas custom of churches. Through the year churches would take money from churchgoers in the form of a collection which was opened on Christmas. The following day it was handed out to the poor and needy and hence the name Boxing Day.
Boxing Day is said to have originated centuries ago in Rome, according to some. It is believed that Roman invaders brought this practice to Britain, where it was taken up by the clergy to collect money in boxes for the disadvantaged.
Boxing Day celebrations:
In the UK, Boxing Day has been a bank holiday since 1871. Boxing Day is a holiday that mainly revolves around and shopping and relaxation. “Boxing Day Sales” have flourished in Britain with stores offering some of their lowest prices on this day. Countries like Canada and Australia celebrate Boxing Day with great enthusiasm. It is a day full of sporting events with a soccer schedule tailor-made for TV viewing.
In the UK, Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, and New Zealand, Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday, much like Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) in the United States. According to the Guardian, shoppers expected to spend more than £4bn on Boxing Day this year.
Boxing Day in Cricket:
The Boxing Day Test match is a cricket Test match held in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia involving the Australian cricket team and an opposing national team that is touring Australia during the southern summer. It begins annually on Boxing Day (26 December) and is played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).