Boxing Day


The day that comes with warm greetings, bright smiles, jollying and yes, unwrapping of boxes- Most times, big boxes - are a part of a blissful day that allows every person to give some special and precious gift to their beloved ones. It's a day that's believed to have many points of interest running from gifting, giving, outing, sporting e.t.c. It comes up every 26th December and it's called BOXING DAY.

And like Christmas, there are numerous stories behind the history of this very much anticipated winter but this unique holiday still has its roots in gift-giving on one hand and love on the other. Boxing Day is universally a holiday and one of the best. This article will tell you all you need to know about boxing day and why you should give out gifts on this day.

History of how Boxing Day started

The Duke of Bohemia in the early 10th century was surveying his land on December 26, and he saw a poor man that was gathering wood in the middle of the snow. He was moved by the act and he gathered lots of food and wine to offer the poor man. The Christmas season has always been very closely related to almsgiving but this good deed was done by King Wenceslas coming the day after Christmas, gave the English people the right to call it Boxing day since gifts arrive in inboxes as well.

Some people believe that it has to do with the church collecting money in boxes since the Romans used to collect money for their athletic games with boxes that were slit. An idea was brought by the British and they agreed to collect money for the poor on Christmas. And then the day after Christmas the boxes would be opened and the money would be distributed, this formed the Boxing Day tradition.

Another version of the origination is about servants granted permission to take the food leftover from Christmas Day to their families in a box, this act later evolved to employers giving gifts or money to their employees during the Christmas season. A lot of people receive hampers during the celebrations as gifts.

According to the tradition that birthed the giving, the holiday was celebrated by giving to the needy but it has changed along with civilization and increased technology to reach many more people including the needy. According to the report, Boxing Day is marked in less than 20 countries all over the world and some of these countries include. The United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Spain, South Africa, Nigeria, the Bahamas Etc.

These different countries have different ways they celebrate their Boxing Day. For example in the Bahamas, people are not found shopping as they start Junkanoo. It's a festival that lasts for a week till New Year's Day. Just like Boxing Day, no one agrees on the origin of the name Junkanoo. But they believe that they are celebrating their freedom from forced labor and used the time to celebrate African traditions. Mostly, the Bahamas Islands would have parades with street parties and music and the people dressed up in fun costumes and masks.

The 26th is a big date for lots of sports in many countries, with special competitions held. Sporting activities have also become a norm on boxing days in countries like Britain, Australia, and New Zealand. Contrary to a lot of opinions and the day being linked to pugilism - fighting with gloved fists - isn't right. The hunts for foxes were also a big part of Boxing Day traditions, but in 2004, the action was banned in the UK. But hunters in these times still gather, and they are dressed in their finest robes, following artificial trails.

Nowadays, the popular sporting activities in the United Kingdom include watching horse races and football matches.

In Ireland, a costume made of straw to celebrate Wren DayIn Ireland. They have an old tradition where people dress up in costumes, often made of straw, then they parade a fake bird on top of a decorated pole as a form of celebration. According to legends, the bird was a wren,  said to have once betrayed Irish soldiers. They believe that to avoid bad luck, homes and those who own businesses should give out money and gifts to the people doing the parade. These festivals are still happening in some parts of Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador.

The people that live in Canada mostly think of Boxing Day as a time for shopping. Many stores have sales the day after Christmas, where they slash prices to have more sales. In recent times, some of the shopping generally has been happening online to save the stress of waiting for long hours in the queue. As of last year, due to the COVID-19 restrictions, there was more online shopping than ever recorded and those who went to the store had to wear a mask and stay two meters apart from each other as the guideline stated.

In Ireland and the Catalonia region of Spain, the day has been connected to religious activities and it's celebrated as Saint Stephen's day.

In Nigeria and South Africa, people spend time with their family members and give donations to different organizations. A couple of Nigerians use this holiday as an avenue to visit their hometowns in far or near distances. Even amid what civilization has done to the root essence of Boxing Day, there are still a couple of hearts that aren't carried away with the whole jollying, forgetting the essence.

The way it's impossible to remove letters a and d from the alphabet (after passing it down from past centuries till this time) is the same way giving and gifting cannot be separated from the true meaning of boxing day. People would continue to give and receive gifts on this day, making other people smile while celebrating and helping people stay sane in this global economy.

As boxing day, you are encouraged to keep the train moving, keep the boxing day spirit alive, remember the goal, remember boxing day charity.

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