26-Dec

Did you know

In the UK, Canada, Australia, Trinidad and Tobago and New Zealand, Boxing Day is primarily known as a shopping holiday, much like Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) in the United States.

Boxing Day sales are common in these countries. It is a time when shops hold sales, often with dramatic price reductions. For many merchants, Boxing Day has become the day of the year with the greatest revenue.

History

There are competing theories for the origins of the term, none of which are definitive. The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as “the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box”.

The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It is believed to be in reference to the Alms Box placed in areas of worship to collect donations to the poor. Also, it may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen, which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day.