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Why is Day After Christmas Celebrated as 'Boxing Day'?

December 26, which is annually celebrated as the Boxing Day, is basically a British tradition. Other countries where this day is celebrated include Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

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Updated:December 26, 2019, 10:12 AM IST
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Why is Day After Christmas Celebrated as 'Boxing Day'?
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The day after Christmas is celebrated as Boxing Day, except it has nothing to do with the sport of boxing, as the name suggests. There are different theories that are associated with this day, but the one which is accepted most commonly is the giving of Christmas boxes. The nature of these boxes is not particularly known and the fact about when they were first dispensed remains disputed.

December 26, which is annually celebrated as the Boxing Day, is basically a British tradition. Other countries where this day is celebrated include Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Even though there is not one particular reason that can be called as the reason of celebrating the day. There is a belief that the tradition began in churches in the Middle Ages. Parishioners used to collect money for the people in need in alms boxes, and these boxes were opened on the day after Christmas. This was done to honour the first Christianity martyr St Stephen, whose feast day falls on 26 December.

Another school of thought associated with this day suggests that the tradition can be dated back to the Christianised late Roman Empire. Apparently, at that time too collections were supposedly made for the poor in honour of St Stephen, but the proof of is not clear.

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