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Boxing Day Meaning, Origin, Celebration, Wishes, Quotes & More

Boxing Day is a holiday that falls on the second day of Christmastide, the day after Christmas Day. This Day began as a day to give gifts to the poor, but it is now primarily known as a shopping holiday. It originated in the United Kingdom and is now observed in a number of former British Empire countries.

Boxing Day falls on the 26th of December, but the associated bank holiday or public holiday may fall on that day or one or two days later (if necessary to ensure it falls on a weekday). The Day falls on the same day as Saint Stephen’s Day, a Christian festival.

Bulgaria, Catalonia, Czechia, Germany, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, and Scandinavian countries celebrate the 26th of December as a second Christmas Day.

When is Boxing Day?

The 26th of December is known as Boxing Day (the day after Christmas). Boxing Day in 2021 is on Sunday, December 26.

This is a Commonwealth-wide public holiday observed in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and other Commonwealth nations. If it’s a weekday, most offices are closed on this day.


Origin of Boxing Day

The origin of the name has been debated, with some claiming that it came from the opening of alms boxes, which were placed in churches to collect donations to help the poor. Others, on the other hand, believe it came from the gift boxes given to employees the day after Christmas.

Because servants’ work was required for their employers’ Christmas Day celebrations, they were given the following day off to celebrate the holiday on their own, according to this theory. Bonuses for service employees have continued to be given, though they are now given before rather than after Christmas.

When the 26th of December falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is declared a public holiday. Boxing Day has become a day of sporting events, including horse races, foxhunting, and rugby, as well as the feast day of St. Stephen (St. Stephen’s Day), the patron saint of horses. Traditional foxhunting was altered in 2005 as a result of legislation passed in England and Wales prohibiting the use of hounds in hunts. The English did not keep the holiday in the American colonies.

How is Boxing Day celebrated today?

For centuries, sporting events have taken place on Boxing Day. Pugilism, on the other hand—fighting with gloved fists (boxing!)—isn’t usually one of them. On Boxing Day, wealthy British people used to go foxhunting. In 2004, however, laws made it illegal to hunt foxes and only allowed hunts in limited circumstances.

Watching horse races and football matches against local rivals are two of the most popular Boxing Day sporting activities today. Another “sport” is post-Christmas shopping when people exchange and return items and search for the best deals.

Boxing Day is still a big day for charity and giving to the less fortunate. Some people take part in charity runs. Another charity event is the Boxing Day Dip, in which people dress up and swim in the sea on Boxing Day.


Boxing Day and Shopping

Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago, and New Zealand. Shops frequently allow dramatic price reductions on Boxing Day sales. Boxing Day has become the most profitable day of the year for many retailers. In 2009, it was estimated that up to 12 million people visited the sales in the United Kingdom (a rise of almost 20 percent compared to 2008, although this was also affected by the fact that the VAT was about to revert to 17.5 percent from 1 January, following the temporary reduction to 15 percent ).

To attract customers, many retailers open early (typically 5 a.m. or earlier) and offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders. Long lines often form early on the morning of December 26th, hours before the opening of stores hosting big sales, particularly at big-box consumer electronics retailers. Many stores have a limited supply of big-ticket items or items that are heavily discounted. Because of the suffocating crowds, many people prefer to stay at home and avoid the frantic shopping experience. Local news outlets frequently cover the event, mentioning how early shoppers began queuing and showing video of shoppers queuing and later leaving with their purchases. Many retailers have put in place procedures for dealing with large crowds of customers.

Most retailers are prohibited from opening on Boxing Day in some parts of Canada, particularly in Atlantic Canada and parts of Northern Ontario, either by provincial law or municipal bylaw or by informal agreement among major retailers, in order to provide a day of relaxation following Christmas Day. In these areas, sales that were previously scheduled for the 26th of December have been rescheduled for the 27th. On December 9, 2014, the city council of Greater Sudbury, Ontario, which had been the largest city in Canada to maintain this restriction since the early 2010s, formally repealed the bylaw.

While Boxing Day is on the 26th of December, many retailers will extend their sales for several days before or after that date, often until New Year’s Eve, dubbed “Boxing Week.” During the late-2008 recession, a record number of retailers held early promotions due to the weak economy. Many retailers with both online and brick-and-mortar stores began their online sales on Christmas Eve and their high-street sales on Boxing Day in 2009.

Boxing Day Wishes

“Have a wonderful Boxing Day. This season, may you have a happy festival.”

Boxing Day Wishes Images

“Enjoy your Boxing Day celebrations with your loved ones. May you be showered with lovely gifts and the most wonderful blessings. Happy Boxing Day, everyone!”

“Wishing you a very happy Boxing Day with lots of love and the warmest greetings. May all of your wishes come true and all of your problems fade away!”

“May you be engulfed by a sea of Christmas gift boxes. Enjoy this day with your family and may you always be blessed! Happy Boxing Day, everyone!”


“On this Boxing Day, may your smile grow wider and the light in your eyes shine brighter. I wish you a wonderful time ahead!”

Bottom of the line:

Boxing Day was named after Queen Victoria in the 1800s and has nothing to do with the sport of boxing. The name comes from a time when the wealthy would package gifts to give to the poor.

Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants, as well as the day when their masters gave them a special Christmas box.

Boxing Day, observed annually on December 26th, may appear to many to be an obscure holiday, but it has been around for well over a century and has a global reach. In many countries, this is the second day of Christmas, as well as Saint Stephen’s Day in Ireland and the Catalonia region of Spain.

Boxing Day is widely regarded as one of the most important Christian holidays in many countries around the world. Boxing Day, which occurs immediately after Christmas, is also known as the second Christmas day of the year. It is a day when employers around the world send Christmas gifts wrapped in beautiful boxes to their employees as a symbol of their love and appreciation for them.

FAQs About Boxing Day:

  • Why is Boxing Day celebrated?

Boxing Day was traditionally a day off for servants, as well as the day on which their masters gave them a special Christmas box. On Boxing Day, the servants returned home to give their families Christmas boxes.

  • Why do we have Boxing Day in Australia?

Many Commonwealth of Nations countries, including Australia, observe Boxing Day as a national holiday. It was traditionally a day for employers in England to give their employees cash bonuses, leftover food, or old clothing, or for lords to give their tenants agricultural tools and seeds for the coming year.

  • Can Boxing Day be on Sunday?

Boxing Day is traditionally observed on the 26th of December, the day following Christmas Day, though many people believe — and there is documentary evidence that it would not fall on a Sunday (Sunday being a day of worship), and thus would be observed on the 27th of December.

  • How do you celebrate Boxing Day?

Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated on December 26 in the United Kingdom and some Commonwealth countries, particularly Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, in which servants, tradespeople, and the poor are traditionally given gifts. It had become a day associated with shopping and sporting events by the twenty-first century.

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