December 26 is Boxing Day, and some people believe it celebrates the sport of boxing. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Countries in the U.K. do watch a lot of soccer games on Boxing Day. In fact, the day is revered by sports fans the way Americans revere the Super Bowl.
— Henry Cavill (@HenryCavillOrg) December 27, 2015
So if Boxing Day isn’t about boxing–what is it all about? And how long have countries like England, Australia, and Canada been celebrating it?
According to the Associated Press, the name comes from a time when wealthy members of society not only gave their paid servants the day after Christmas off (most of them worked on Christmas Day), they also gave them money and a box packed with food and gifts for themselves and their families. Yet other people believe it comes from a time when churches placed boxes outside their doors to collect money to give the poor at Christmas time.
Most believe the tradition of celebrating Boxing Day is centuries old.
HAPPY BOXING DAY. pic.twitter.com/7dWzuLdnbx
— Complex Sports (@Complex_Sports) December 27, 2015
These days Boxing Day is a day of leisure and lots of food. Most people who celebrate spend the day watching soccer games and feasting on ham or turkey.
Boxing Day in many places rivals Black Friday on the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S. Retail bargains galore are available to shoppers, and a wealth of them take part in what is fast becoming a tradition.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) December 27, 2015
It seems no one can say for sure when Boxing Day officially began or provide a set of rules for how it is to be celebrated. If you live in the U.K., you likely celebrated Boxing Day today.
Hopefully it was a wonderful day filled with food and family–and maybe a few bargains, too.