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Boxing Day – Good King Wenceslas

Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26 in Great Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and other common wealth countries. Exact origin of the holiday is ambiguous; it is likely that Boxing Day began in England during the middle ages under Queen Victoria. According to some historians the holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes. Another theory is stated that it has nothing to do with pugilistic competition nor it is a day for people to return unwanted Christmas presents but it is a day when the deposited coins boxes placed in churches by parishioners were opened and the contents distributed for the poor. Boxing Day is so called because it was the custom on that day for tradesmen to collect their Christmas boxes or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year, it is also St. Stephen’s day who was a little known saint who achieved eternal fame by being at the first Christian to be martyred for his faith by being stoned to death shortly after Christ’s crucifixion.

Boxing Day celebrations:

Boxing Day has been a national holiday in England, Wales, Ireland and Canada since 1871. For years in which the holiday falls on a weekend, the celebration is moved to make sure workers still get a day off. In Britain, Canada, New Zealand and some states of Australia, Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday, much like the day after Thanks giving in the United States. 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.

It is also celebrated by arranging get-together for friends and family. Baked Ham is a popular Boxing Day meat and of course, Mince Pies with Brandy Butter or a slice of Christmas cake are almost compulsory. Boxing Day is also more relaxed than Christmas Day. Lunch will usually be a buffet or leftovers from Christmas lunch.

It is the day that is spent with those who have provided a service to you during the year. Employees of your household, the newspaper, the postal delivery person, delivery person, and or business should be remembered with a tip, bonus or gift basket.

This day is also known as sports day. Horse racing, football, fox hunting and wren hunting are included.

Boxing Day is also a time when the British display their true eccentricity taking part in all kinds of silly activities.

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