Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas Day, thus being the second day of Christmastide. Though it originated as a holiday to give gifts to the poor, today Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday. Here are some most important things you need to know about the holiday.
In Britain, it was a custom for tradesmen to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys’ diary entry for 19 December 1663.
Boxing Day is primarily a British tradition, and the UK has exported it to Australia, Canada and New Zealand (in each of which it has become primarily a shopping and sporting day).
Boxing Day is an official public holiday (or bank holiday) on Dec. 26 celebrated by the United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries. This includes Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. On a bank holiday, the workforce gets the day off.
Boxing Day is a time to spend with family or friends, particularly those not seen on Christmas Day itself. It is also a day to eat the leftover turkey. In modern times the day has become associated with sports – particularly football and rugby. Local rivals are often pitted together, especially in lower leagues.
If a bank holiday is on a weekend, a ‘substitute’ weekday becomes a bank holiday, normally the following Monday. If Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, the following Monday is a bank holiday. If Christmas Day falls on a Saturday, the following Monday and Tuesday are bank holidays.
COVID has changed everything. Matt Hancock pressed the panic button and plunged millions more into Tier 4. New areas will not be moved into highest lockdown tier until Boxing Day. People in Tier 4 already complained that their Christmas Day plans were ruined – Angry Britons already living in Tier 4 share frustration after more areas get set for toughest Covid rules.