WHAT IS BOXING DAY?
In addition to December 26th being a day for Santa to catch his breath, it's a National Holiday if your live in the United Kingdom, or other British Commonwealth countires such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
In spite of it's unusual name, Boxing Day has nothing to do with boxing or returning unwanted gifts to stores. The term is of British origina and it is traced back to 1833 four years before Charles dickents referred to it in "The Pickwick Papers."
Boxing Day is also known as "St. Stephen's Day" in Ireland, named after the Saint who was stoned to death for beleiving in Jesus.
WHY IS IT CALLED BOXING DAY?
There are many theories as to why it was named Boxing Day. Here a just a few.
In Britain the name for a Christmas present is "Christmas Box." Boxing day was a day off for servants when they received a Christmas Box from their empoyer. Servants would also go home on Boxing Day to give Christmases Boxes to their family members.
Traditionally a box to collect money for the poor was place in Churches on Christmas Day and opened the next day - Boxing Day.
Sealed boxes containing money were collected and placed on sailing ships when setting sail for good luck. If the voyage was a success, the box was given to the church and opened at Christmas and the contents distributed to the poor.
ACTIVITES ON BOXING DAY
In recent times Boxing Day has become synonymous with many sports. In adition to horse racing, many football teams also play on Boxing Day. The Birtish can also show some eccentricities by taking part in traditions which include swimming the English Channel, charity events, and run.
Fox Hunting was a popoular sport on Boxing Day, but it thankfully it has been banned and it is now forbidden to chase the fox with dogs.
THE NEW SPORT
The new Boxing Day sport is Shopping. What once was a day of relaxation and family time has now become the day for hunting for spectacular Boxing Day Sales.