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Why is Boxing Day called Boxing Day in England?

Why is Boxing Day called Boxing Day in England?

Many Brits don't know exactly why it's Boxing Day Boxing day is called Some believe it is so called because gift boxes and papers are thrown in the trash on Boxing Day. Or failed prizes are boxed up and sent upstairs or down to the basement.

Why is it called Boxing Day?
“Unboxing” Christmas. (Photo: Les Anderson)

It is neither one nor the other.

Fox hunting is also strongly associated with this day. But that has nothing to do with it.

It definitely has something to do with the boxes.

Stephen Moss writes Boxing Day in the Guardian: “It is called documented knowledge Boxing day Related to Christmas boxes, but the exact nature of the matter and when the boxes were distributed are disputed.

Giving boxes is related to collecting money from the poor. The boxes were given to the poor or their servants. These are traditionally opened on December 26, St. Stephen's Day, the day after Christmas.

It is unclear when this Boxing Day tradition began. Some say it dates back to the Victorian era. Others believe she is too old. It may date back to the Middle Ages or to the Roman Empire after its Christianization.

Boxing Day means Victorian timesBoxing Day means Victorian times
Victorian cuisine. (Photo: Ron Porter)

Although the timing is disputed, it was the Victorians who institutionalized Box Day, Moss says in his essay. The Oxford English Dictionary mentions the term Boxing Day in the 1830s. In 1871, Boxing Day was made an official holiday.

It was customary in those days for the wealthy to give their servants a holiday on December 26 so that they could visit their families. They were also given a box (at Christmas) that could contain money, food or other gifts.

A similar but separate tradition is to present a “Christmas box” with gifts or money to craftsmen on the first working day after Christmas (then December 26) as a reward for their good services.

Samuel Pepys, well-known in Great Britain as a historian of the Restoration era under King Charles II of England, wrote in his diary on December 19, 1663: “From there went in a carriage to my shoemaker and settled accounts and gave the boy something. His box for Christmas.”

The Boxing Day tradition is primarily in Great Britain, but the day is also celebrated under this name in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. However, in America, “Box Day” is unknown.

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