Published on December 26th, 2019
Ever wondered what Boxing Day is, what it means, and where this unusual name comes from?
It is a holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day – today . A ‘Christmas Box’ in Britain is a name for a Christmas present.
Boxing Day was traditionally a day off from work 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.
A box to collect money for the poor traditionally and placed in Churches on Christmas day and opened the next day – Boxing Day.
Great sailing ships when setting sail would have a sealed box containing money on board for good luck. Were the voyage a success, the box was given to a priest, opened at Christmas and the contents given to the poor.
In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. Due to the Roman Catholic Church’s liturgical calendar, the day is known as St. Stephen’s Day to Catholics. It is also known as both St. Stephen’s Day and the Day of the Wren or Wren’s Day in Ireland.
In some European countries, December 26 is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day. Boxing Day is a time to spend with family or friends, usually those you don’t get to see on Christmas Day.