When is this holiday celebrated?
It is usually celebrated on December 26, the day after Christmas Day!
"In the countries that observe this holiday, 26 December is commonly referred to as Boxing Day no matter what day of the week it occurs." "However, in some countries, fixed-date holidays falling on Saturday or Sunday are often observed on the next weekday."
"If Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, then Monday 28 December is declared a public holiday." "In the United Kingdom and some other countries this is accomplished by Royal Proclamation."
"If Boxing Day falls on a Sunday, then in countries where it is a public holiday the Statutory Holiday is moved to Monday 27 December." "In that event, Christmas Day would be on a Saturday, so Tuesday 28 December would be declared a holiday in lieu, that being the next available working day - thus the Boxing Day holiday occurs before the substitute Christmas holiday."
"If Christmas Day falls on a Sunday, then Boxing Day is on Monday 26 December, and no Royal Proclamation is required." "In such a circumstance, a 'substitute bank holiday in lieu of Christmas Day' is declared for Tuesday 27 December; again with the Boxing Day holiday occurring before the substitute Christmas holiday."
"Although the same legislation—the Bank Holidays Act 1871—originally established the Bank Holidays throughout the United Kingdom, the holiday after Christmas was defined as Boxing Day in England and Wales, and the feast day of St. Stephen's Day which is celebrated by the western church is fixed as the 26 December in Northern Ireland, though the name "Boxing Day" is usually used there also."
"While Boxing Day is actually on 26 December, many retailers who hold Boxing Day Sales will run the sales for several days after 26 December - often up to New Year's Eve."
Origin of this holiday
Boxing Day is a traditional celebration dating back to the Middle Ages, of which the primary practice is the giving of gifts to employees or to people in a lower social class. The name has numerous folk etymologies.
Who celebrates this holiday?
Boxing Day is a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, as well as many other members of the Commonwealth of Nations, and Greece.
A Christmas box is, in English tradition, a clay box used in artisan shops. Apprentices, masters, visitors, customers, and others would put donations of money into the box, like a piggy bank, and then, after Christmas, the box would be shattered and all the contents shared among the workers of the shop. Thus, masters and customers could donate bonuses to the workers anonymously, and the employees could average their wages. The habit of breaking the Christmas box lent its name to Boxing Day. The term "Christmas box" now refers generally to a gift or pay bonus given to workers.
Folk etymologies as wikipedia encyclopedia explains it
- In feudal times, Christmas was a reason for a gathering of extended families. All the serfs would gather their families in the manor of their lord, which made it easier for the lord of the estate to hand out annual stipends to the serfs. On 26th December, after all the Christmas parties, the lord of the manor would give practical goods such as cloth, grains, and tools to the serfs who lived on his land. Each family would receive a box full of such goods, hence "Boxing Day." According to this tradition, the lord of the manor did not volunteer, but was obliged to supply these gifts.
- In churches, it was traditional to open the church's donation box on Christmas Day, and the money inside was to be distributed to the poorer or lower class citizens on the next day. In this case, the "box" in "Boxing Day" comes from that lockbox in which the donations were left.
- Because the staff had to work on such an important day as Christmas by serving the master of the house and his family, they were given the following day off. As servants were kept away from their own families to work on a traditional religious holiday and were not able to celebrate Christmas dinner, the customary benefit was to "box" up the leftover food from Christmas Day and send it away with the servants and their families.
What type of holiday is this?
• • • Public Holiday for some countries
Other December Holidays around the world
How can I Celebrate this holiday?
- Blog with us about it! - We have a blog called "Everyday is a Holiday" so visit our pages and talk with us about this holiday.
- Send Free E-Greeting! - If your ready to get together with your friends don't forget to invite them with these fun Internet Invitations.