What is Boxing Day?

December 26th. Boxing Day.

No, it's not the annual day for boxers to hang out and beat each other up.

Nor is it the day that all breeds of boxers go out for their annual fun run.

It's also not the day everyone runs around town with nothing but their boxers on.

Or is it maybe the day that boxers, wearing boxers, take their boxers out for the annual fun run??? Hmmmm....something tells me not........

So then does it have anything to do with actual boxes?

There are a wide number of theories as to how this all started, including:

* Boxing Day is a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, countries in the Commonwealth of Nations with a mainly Christian population, and parts of the United States. In South Africa, this public holiday is now known as the Day of Goodwill. It is based on the tradition of giving gifts to the less fortunate members of society. Contemporary Boxing Day in many countries is now a "shopping holiday" associated with after-Christmas sales.

This day is historically England's name for St. Stephen's Day. Saint Stephen was the first Christian martyr, being stoned to death in Jerusalem around A.D. 34-35. St. Stephen's Day is usually celebrated on December 26, which is a public holiday in some countries or areas in Europe (UK, Germany, Italy, Alsace, northern part of Lorraine, Catalonia) and around the world with predominantly Christian populations. In the Eastern Orthodox Church, St Stephen's Day is celebrated on the 27th of December, although in Greece the Greek Boxing Day (Synaxis Theotokou, Óýíáîéò Èåïôüêïõ) is also celebrated as a public holiday on the 26th of December and is not related to the English version.[citation needed]

In Ireland the Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St. Stephen's Day as a non-moveable public holiday on December the 26th, although since partition the name "Boxing Day" is used by the authorities in Northern Ireland and it has become a moveable public holiday in que with the rest of the UK. The Banking and Financial Dealings Act of 1971 established "Boxing Day" as a public holiday in Scotland. In the Australian state of South Australia, December the 26th is a public holiday known as Proclamation Day.

It is usually celebrated on the 26th of December, the day after Christmas Day; however, unlike St. Stephen's Day, Boxing Day is not always on the 26th of December: its associated public holiday can be moved to the next weekday if the 26th of December is a Saturday or Sunday. The movement of Boxing Day varies between countries.

* In churches, donations were paid into a locked box on Christmas Day to help the poor and the needy. The box was then opened on December the 26th, the day after Christmas day, and the money distributed on what became known as "Boxing Day".

* In feudal times, after all the families had gathered together for Christmas festivities, the serfs with families in tow, would visit their lord at his manor house where under obligation, he would bestow upon them a box of goods such as grains, cloth and tools. Because of the boxes being given out, the day was called Boxing Day.

* Because servants had to work on Christmas Day they were given the following day off. Unable to be with their own families to work on a such a traditional religious holiday and unable to have Christmas Dinner, the left over food from Christmas Day was boxed up and given to the servants and their families.

* Later on in time, servants would carry boxes to their employers when they arrived for their day's work on the day after Christmas. Their employers would then put coins in the boxes as special end-of-year gifts similar to todays Christmas bonus.

So there you have it. Boxing day does involve boxes, just maybe not the boxes you may have always thought! :smilebox:
Boxing up the gash.
Not much this year ...a cracking book 'Apache' by Ed Macy, boys own yarn re the Army Air Corps Apache helicopter pilots who led the rescue mission to recover L/Cpl Mathew Ford RM at Jugroom Fort in Helmand. Excellent insight into a tragic event. Finished it last night with the room all dusty.


War Hero
In the Blobby household it stands for "getting out of your Box" It is traditionally the day the men in the house get drunk. I find this one of the easier traditions to maintain.
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