What we know about Boxing Day
When is Boxing Day? -
Though it's traditionally celebrated on the 26, some say that it used to be on the 27, so that it would not fall on a Sunday, which was a day of worship.
Bank holiday -
Boxing Day is a public holiday (or bank holiday) in the countries that celebrate it.
Where is Boxing Day celebrated? - The holiday originated in the UK, but it's also celebrated in former British colonies, including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Bahamas etc.
Similar to Boxing Day -
Boxing Day is not celebrated everywhere. But some countries, including Germany, Poland, and the Netherlands, celebrate the 26 as a second Christmas day.
The origins of Boxing Day -
The origins of Boxing Day are not quite certain. There are mainly two stories about it, but the real roots of the holiday are yet to be proven.
First theory -
One of the stories dates back to the 19th century. Boxing Day was a day that servants to wealthy people got time off.
Second theory -
Another theory can be traced back to the Middle Ages. It is believed that the original boxes were the alms boxes placed in churches to collect money for the poor.
United Kingdom -
The date has been a bank holiday in the UK since 1871. And it is one, if not the, most important shopping days of the year.
The Aussies are also huge sports fans, and the day is celebrated with the Boxing Day Test, which is held in Melbourne.
As one can imagine, besides the commercial aspect, Boxing Day for Canadians is also about ice hockey.
African Commonwealth nations -
Pro boxing fights are particularly popular on this day in countries such as Ghana, Uganda, Malawi, Zambia, and Tanzania.
In the Bahamas, Boxing Day marks the start of a festival called Junkanoo. The celebration can be traced back to the 18th century.
Saint Stephen's Day -
For many countries the date is not called Boxing Day. Instead they celebrate Saint Stephen's Day, which is a Christian saint's day.
Parts of Spain -
Some regions (Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Valencian Country) celebrate Saint Stephen's Day with a big meal, and the day is usually spent with family.
In Sweden, the date is marked by the Saint Stephen's Day bandy (aka Anndandagsbandy), where a number of bandy matches are played.