Have you heard of Boxing Day?
December 26th is a holiday celebrated in England and many other countries (including Canada, where I am from!). Today, Boxing Day is similar to the American Black Friday (which is not celebrated in Canada). On Boxing Day in Canada, stores open early with many sales and deals. Just like here in the United States, people flock to stores and malls in huge numbers. However, historically, Boxing Day served a different purpose.
Unfortunately, Boxing Day seems to have lost its meaning and even the historical significance of the day is only theories. Some say that Boxing Day began in England in the Middle Ages as the servants’ day off (because they were required to work on Christmas Day).
Even this theory has two endings, as some people say that the servants made boxed lunches for the employers to eat while the servants took the day off and others say that the employers gave the servants gift boxes. Another theory entirely is that churches placed boxes where parishioners gave coins and the coins were given to the poor on Boxing Day.
Lemm, Elaine. (2014). What is Boxing Day? Why is it called Boxing Day?
Brittany M. Best, M.A.
WKPIC Doctoral Intern