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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Happy Boxing Day


Despite its name "Boxing Day," has nothing to do with fighting. It originated in Great Britain. (somewhere around the middle ages). Some stories have it that because many indentured servants were required to work on Christmas Day, they were given the next day off. They were often presented gifts in boxes by their employees. There is another story that circulated that Boxing Day started because that was the day many churches in Britain opened the collection boxes(the locked boxes where collections were taken) and distributed money to the poor.

Whatever the real origin the facts are that today many Countries, including those with Commonwealth ties, (with the United States being the major exception) celebrate this day as an official day off. This tradition survives today as people give presents to tradesmen, mail carriers, doormen, porters, and others who have helped them.

It is tradition in most families to spend the day with other family members as a sort of 'second' Christmas Day, where presents are exchanged, the left-overs of the previous day are eaten or another family meal is prepared in celebration. Another tradition on this day is the "FOX HUNT." (as well as a good game of Rugby)

Boxing Day in the UK is a day when stores launch one of the year's biggest sales periods. Boxing Day has become so important for retailers that they often extend it into a "Boxing Week".

So in America the biggest sale day of the year is December 24th but in England it is December 26th.

1 comment:

Leon said...

Great post. If only people would actually observe the giving to the poor part, then it could possibly counter the commercialism of Christmas.