This Is Why Boxing Day Is Called Boxing Day

by : UNILAD on : 04 Dec 2016 16:30
1024-homealone-mh-1204121024-homealone-mh-12041220th Century Fox

Most of us enjoy taking in the chilled vibes of Boxing day, in a post-turkey and present come down because isn’t that what it’s for? 


I’m sure you’re wondering what exactly is Boxing day for and how it got its name. Well sit back, get yourself a nice glass of something, relax amongst your discarded gifts and let me tell you.

It hasn’t always been a time for shit transport and manic-bargain-hunters pounding the streets, on the search for yesterday’s gifts, that have been slashed down the most. Oh no, it goes much further back into the mists of time.

6598422497_a37c9501e7_b6598422497_a37c9501e7_bDaniel X O'neil

It does seem that December 26th has always been classed as a public holiday as originally, it was when servants were given the day off, as well as a box of gifts-hence the name.


Another popular theory, is that the day gains its name from collection boxes, that have been left in churches to collect money for the needy.

Along a similar vein, suggestions have been made that Boxing Day is actually to do with shipping and shipmates opening a box of money for the priest, so that it can be passed to the poor.

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It was also considered a tradition for workers to open ‘Christmas boxes,’ containing presents or money on the first weekday after Christmas Day, as a thank you from employers. This particular custom dates back to an entry in Samuel Pepys’ diary from 1663, according to The Telegraph.

He wrote:

Thence by coach to my shoemaker’s and paid all there, and gave something to the boys’ box against Christmas.

And followed it up three days after Christmas Day with:

Called up by drums & trumpets; these things & boxes having cost me much money this Christmas.

hqdefaulthqdefaultBuena Vista Productions

Another interesting fact is that Boxing Day is often associated, rather bizarrely, with horses.

Although it is not quite as bizarre as you might think, as the association stems from Saint Stephen. Boxing day is also known as ‘the feast day of Saint Stephen,’ who just so happens to be the patron saint of horses.

Throughout the last hundred years or so, hunting and more specifically, fox hunting has been very popular and considered a traditional pursuit to take place on the day after Christmas day.

horses_and_hounds_15832451122horses_and_hounds_15832451122Beau Considine

Nowadays though, people tend to take to the streets, stores and websites in pursuit of bargains, rather than giving out charitable donations.

Sad, but true and it’s certainly interesting how this festive day has developed over time.

Topics: News


The Telegraph
  1. The Telegraph

    Boxing Day 2016: What is it and why do we celebrate it?