MERRY CHRISTMAS 2022: December 26 is celebrated as Boxing Day. For those wondering why the day right after December 25 is known as Boxing Day, read ahead to find out the reason:
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Boxing Day is also called the Offering Day. It is said that initially, the day after Christmas was conceived as a holiday to spend time distributing gifts to the underprivileged; however, later on December 26 came to be known as a shopping holiday.
There are many theories behind the origin of this Boxing Day. In Britain, this day originated centuries ago as a gift-giving day. It used to be a custom for tradesmen to collect their Christmas boxes filled with money or goods in lieu of their wonderful services.
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It is also mentioned in various writings that servants were allowed to visit their families the day after Christmas. In exchange for their service on Christmas, the household helps were rewarded with bonuses and presents in boxes to take home. Charity runs have been a major part of Boxing Day.
In Ireland, Boxing Day is also called St. Stephen’s Day. Soon after Christ’s crucifixion, St Stephen was stoned to death. The day is celebrated in honor of him who became the first Christian martyr.
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The Boxing Day origin might also relate to the late Roman/ early Christian custom of placing alms boxes in churches to gather donations or offerings for the poor and the Feast of St. Stephen.
With the passage of time, Boxing Day turned out to be treated as a shopping holiday in the UK, Canada, Trinidad, Australia, New Zealand. Boxing Day sales are common, during which shops offer discounted prices.
Sports too, at one point of time, was an integral part of Boxing Day. There was a tradition of foxhunting by affluent British families on this day; which however got banned in 2004.
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