December 26, 2010
The History Behind Boxing Day
Not everyone knows or celebrates Boxing Day, but when I lived in the UK and Australia, it was celebrated with vigor. It is observed in the UK, Australia, Austria, Canada and New Zealand. In South Africa, the December 26 public holiday is called Day of Goodwill, in Ireland St. Stephen's Day or Lá an Dreoilín, and in continental European countries the "Second Christmas Day."
And how cool is this? In Canada, Boxing Day is listed in the Canada Labor Code as an optional holiday. I hate when Christmas and Boxing Day falls on a weekend since it means that you don't really get an extra time off just to sit, stare at Christmas lights and listen to old fashioned kitch holiday songs. I love this btw.
The holiday may date from as early as the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is not known. It may have begun with the Lords and Ladies of England, who gave Christmas boxes/gifts to their servants on December 26, or maybe by priests, who opened the church's alms (charity boxes), and distributed the contents to the poor and needy.
Below is a bit of history about the origins and myths of Boxing Day from Snopes.
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