Boxing Day – History, Traditions, and More

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is observed on December 26. That falls on a Monday this year. What makes it known as Boxing Day? And what role—if any—does boxing play in all of this? Like a box, Boxing Day is full with interesting things to do. Enjoy these dishes as well as a brief overview of the holiday’s history.

Date of Boxing Day

Annually, Boxing Day is observed on December 26. (the day after Christmas). The Day is observed on Monday, December 26 in 2022.

Britain, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other Commonwealth nations all observe this as a national holiday. If this day falls on a workday, the majority of offices are closed.

Dates of Boxing Day

YearBoxing Day
2022Monday, December 26
2023Tuesday, December 26
2024Thursday, December 26
2025Friday, December 26

What Is It?

How Does Boxing Day Work? In Britain, Boxing Day is a long-standing tradition of exchanging gifts. Boxing Day customs do include a lot of boxes, for sure!

On that day, it was customary for tradespeople to gather their “Christmas boxes,” or presents of cash or items given in appreciation for steady service throughout the year. Do you have any tradespeople, such as your postman, repairman, or city doorman, who have been particularly helpful this year?

The tradition began when employers would give workers boxes to go home that contained gifts, bonuses, and perhaps leftover food because they would have to serve their masters on Christmas Day but would enable them to see their relatives the next day.

The year 1663 is one of the oldest records of these box presents. Samuel Pepys, an English parliamentarian, records in his journal that he dispatched a coach and messenger to his shoemaker with money to pay his account and “something to the lads’ box against Christmas.”

It changed later, under the reign of Queen Victoria (1837–1901), in the Victorian era. It turned into an opportunity for church members to place money in a box that the minister had placed outside. The needy received the money in the boxes.

Boxing Day

Additionally: St. Stephen’s Day

In Ireland, Boxing Day is sometimes referred to as St. Stephen’s Day. However, did you know there were two saints by the name of Stephen? St. Stephen was murdered by being stoned not long after Christ was crucified (and is considered the first Christian martyr). The other St. Stephen was a missionary who worked in Sweden and loved animals, particularly horses. (This may be the cause of the popularity of horse racing on this day.)

In the holiday hymn Good King Wenceslas, he is also mentioned. The song’s first line summarises the king’s St. Stephen’s Day activities: “Good King Wenceslas looked out/on the feast of Stephen.” The lyrics, which were created by John Mason Neale and initially released in 1853, commemorate the Boxing Day virtue of generosity by describing King Wenceslas witnessing a poor man “gath’ring winter fuel.” The king then delivers food to the peasants and wood for their fire.

Boxing Day Recipes for Food and Drink

On Boxing Day, there is a tonne of food and entertainment with family and friends.

The dinner consists primarily of leftovers as it is normally the cook’s day off. Thanksgiving leftovers are frequently served on Boxing Day. With veggies, roast potatoes, and all the fixings, this may be enjoyed as a meal or as sandwiches. recipe ideas for leftover turkey.

Some individuals opt to eat cold ham from a buffet in order to give the cook a rest and time to spend with the family. Learn how to assemble a beautiful buffet table.

How is Boxing Day observed in modern times?

Since ancient times, Boxing Day has been used for sporting activities. Pugilism, or fighting with gloved hands (as in boxing! ), is often not one of them. Rich British people used to go fox hunting on Boxing Day. But as of 2004, fox hunting was illegal and only modified hunts were permitted.

The two most popular athletic events nowadays on Boxing Day are horse racing and local football games. Of course, post-Christmas shopping, when people swap and return their gifts and hunt for the greatest prices, is another “sport.”

Still a significant component of Boxing Day is charity and donating to the less fortunate. Some people take part in fundraising runs. Another charitable event is the Boxing Day Dip, where participants dip in the water on Christmas Day while wearing costumes. Do you think you could swim in the chilly English Channel?

Boxing Day Facts & Lore

  • On this day in 1776, George Washington crossed the frozen Delaware River to launch an early-morning assault on Hessian soldiers stationed in Trenton, New Jersey.
  • I Want to Hold Your Hand and I Saw Her Standing There, two songs by The Beatles, were released in the US on this day in 1963.
  • According to weather tradition, if there is a lot of wind on St. Stephen’s Day (December 26), the grapes will be terrible the next year.

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