Origin of Boxing Day
Words nearby Boxing Day
MORE ABOUT BOXING DAY
What is Boxing Day?
It traditionally involves giving gifts to people like employees, letter carriers, and others, but for many people it’s just part of the broader celebration of Christmas or the holiday season. For example, some people may hold a Christmas gathering on Boxing Day, rather than Christmas Day, or some might celebrate with one group of people on Christmas Day and another group of people on Boxing Day.
The word boxing in Boxing Day does not refer to the sport. The origin of the name is uncertain, but it may be a reference to boxes containing gifts or donations.
In the U.K., Boxing Day is a bank holiday, and it is a public holiday in some others.
It’s a common custom to eat Christmas Day leftovers on Boxing Day. Sports events are often held on the day, especially football (soccer) matches. The holiday is now also often used as a time for retailers to promote sales.
When is Boxing Day?
Boxing Day is traditionally celebrated on the day after Christmas Day—December 26. Its observance as a bank holiday, though, means that it’s sometimes officially observed on a weekday after Christmas. In 2023, Boxing Day will officially be observed on Tuesday, December 26. In 2024, Boxing Day will be observed on Thursday, December 26.
More information and context on Boxing Day
The name Boxing Day has been used since at least the 1700s. The ultimate origin of the name isn’t certain, but it likely derives from the custom of giving service workers (such as letter carriers and shop workers) Christmas boxes—tips or small gifts, often presented in small boxes. It may have also been influenced by the Christmastime tradition of placing tips for shop workers into a small clay “box” that would then be opened after the holiday to divide the money among the workers.
The tradition of giving small presents to service workers on Boxing Day continues, especially for mail carriers and other workers that people commonly encounter (though not everyone follows this tradition).
What are some terms that often get used in discussing Boxing Day?
How is Boxing Day discussed in real life?
Boxing Day is primarily observed in the U.K. and other Commonwealth countries. Many traditions are associated with it, and it’s often observed as part of the Christmas season.
Opening gifts on Christmas Day 🥳Building gifts on Boxing Day 🙃 Socks will do next year 🧦😅 pic.twitter.com/JomUrOiKwX
— Anthony Joshua (@anthonyjoshua) December 26, 2020
And so Christmas Day draws to a close
Different but nice is the best way to describe it
It’s been rather lovely actually
And so to bed to do it all over again for whatever the reason we celebrate Boxing Day
Nighty night 💋
— Selina j 🧚🏻🌙⚒ (@OfSelina) December 25, 2020
The best way to deal with grief and loss during holidays, I have found, is to create new traditions that nevertheless involve your loved ones. My new Boxing Day tradition is to spend the day reading poetry, including my dear mother's beautiful collection of poetry books.
— Minna Salami (@MsAfropolitan) December 26, 2018
Try using Boxing Day!
True or False?
Boxing Day is always officially observed on December 26.
How to use Boxing Day in a sentence
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