Boxing Day is a bank holiday or a public holiday in countries with a mainly
Christian population. It is usually celebrated on the day after Christmas Day.
Boxing Day originated in England in the middle of the nineteenth century also
known as St. Stephen's Day, under Queen Victoria. The day is traditionally
marked by the giving of Christmas boxes, or gifts, to service workers.
Alms Box will be placed in every church on Christmas Day, into which worshippers
placed a gift for the poor of the parish. These boxes were always opened the
day after Christmas, this is called as Boxing Day.
Traditionally, Boxing Day is a day for fox hunting. Horse riders dressed in
red and white riding gear, accompanied by a number of dogs, chase the fox
through the countryside.
On this day, families and friends get together and watch sports and play board
games. In many countries Boxing Day is a Shopping Holiday. It is a time where
shops have sales, often with dramatic price decreases. For many merchants,
Boxing Day has become the day of the year with the greatest revenue. Many
retailers open very early and offer doorbuster deals and loss leaders to draw
people to their stores.
The Bahamas celebrate Boxing Day with a street parade and festival called
Junkanoo, in which traditional rhythmic dancers called gombeys fill the
streets with their elaborate costumes and headdresses.
Government buildings and businesses are closed, the malls are filled with
people either exchanging gifts or buying reduced priced Christmas gifts,
cards, and decorations.
Boxing Day is a popular day in the UK and US for mounted fox hunters.
Despite fox hunting being banned by the Hunting Act in 2004, Boxing Day remains
the biggest hunt of the year for most hunts in the UK by use of scent drag
trails instead of live game.
In Britain and Ireland, people added another day for Christmas Day celebrations
called Boxing Day. Boxing Day is a national holiday and another day to spend
with family and friends and eating up the leftovers but its origins are
steeped in history and tradition.
Australia holds the first day of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne at the
Melbourne Cricket Ground and the start to the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Until 2004, Boxing Day hunts, were a traditional part of Boxing Day but the
ban on fox hunting has put an end to the hunt in its traditional sense.
Hunters will still gather dressed resplendently in red hunting coats to the
sound of the hunting horn but it is now forbidden in law to chase the fox with
dogs, so the dogs now follow artificially laid trails.
In Ireland, it is called the Day of the Wren or Wren's Day. When used in this
context, "wren" is often pronounced "ran". This name alludes to several
legends, including those found in Ireland, linking episodes in the life of
Jesus to the wren. Some activities that took place on this day seem peculiarly
Welsh, including that of "holly-beating" or "holming". In this, it was
customary for young men and boys to slash the unprotected arms of female
domestic servants with holly branches until they bled.
Boxing Day has evolved from a charitable day to an extended Christmas
afternoon. It's a holiday with presents that have already been opened and a
dinner that has been eaten. It's a holiday best spent lounging around in
brightly colored sweaters, wondering, lazily and lethargically, what to