Boxing Day

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As boxing day , translated as “gift box day”, is traditionally referred to in the customs of the Commonwealth of Nations as the day after Christmas on which employees received a gift from their employer, the Christmas box ; Boxing Day, however, should not be confused with the family giving of presents on the morning of December 25th. The Boxing Day is celebrated as a public holiday on December 26 or - if it falls on a weekend - the first or second following business day. The exact date varies according to national or regional legislation. The Boxing Day is primarily in the United Kingdom , Uganda , Hong Kong , Australia , Kenya , Canada , New Zealand and South Africa committed.


The exact origin of the word boxing has not yet been clarified. However, there are a multitude of customs and traditions that may have influenced the designation of Boxing Day. In ancient Rome, it was customary for slaves and their masters to swap roles including the exchange of gifts at the Saturnalia that took place in December . In early Christianity, St. Stephen's Day , the feast of St. Deacon Stephen organized a special collection of poor people on December 26th. In Europe there is evidence of a tradition going back to the Middle Ages of distributing the alms collected in the church collection to those in need on the day after Christmas.

In Great Britain, something like a Christmas tip ( Yuletide tip ) was known as early as 1663 . Craftsmen collected money and other gifts the day after Christmas as thanks and recognition for service rendered throughout the year. This practice, in turn, could be traced back to an even older custom, namely to allow domestic staff to visit their families on the day after Christmas, after they had to serve their noble masters on Christmas Day. In addition, parcels with gifts, special payments and sometimes leftover celebratory meals were given to the staff.


In 1994, the Boxing Day in South Africa was renamed the Day of Goodwill ("Day of Goodwill").


Crowds on Boxing Day at the Eaton Center in Toronto

Today, Boxing Day is often a shopping holiday, similar to Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving ) or Super Saturday (the Saturday before Christmas) in the United States. There is a real discount battle with heavily reduced prices, a corresponding rush of customers early in the morning and long queues often before the store opens. For some retailers, Boxing Day is the day of the year with the highest turnover. The large number of bargain hunters is also a popular subject of local media coverage. Accidents sometimes occur in overcrowded shops, and there have even been isolated deaths. This mass rush caused many shopkeepers to restrict access to their stores. In recent years, retailers have expanded Boxing Day into Boxing Week until New Year's. In parts of Canada, however, Boxing Day has been moved to December 27th so that the day after Christmas is a day of rest. In Ireland, some shops opened on St. Stephen's Day for the first time in 107 years in 2009 and the winter sales started in the old year . Also since 2009, on the occasion of Boxing Day, online business has often started on Christmas Eve.


In many popular sports in the Commonwealth of Nations, traditional and well-attended competitions are held on Boxing Day. In England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, Boxing Day traditionally belongs to local football and rugby derbies as well as well-known horse races (such as the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park Racecourse near London). Fox hunting was also very common in rural areas of the UK until it was banned in 2005. Today, hunting races are held in which game is no longer hunted. In addition, the English Football Premier League has a game day ( English Week ) on Boxing Day .

The day also plays a big role in cricket and ice hockey. A big test match will take place in Melbourne on December 26th , the Boxing Day Test . The Spengler Cup, the oldest international ice hockey tournament, begins in Davos with the participation of a Canadian selection . The Sydney-Hobart Regatta traditionally starts on Boxing Day off the Australian coast . In some African countries of the former Commonwealth as well as in Italy boxing matches have been held for decades.


  • On December 26, 1908, Jack Johnson became the first black heavyweight boxing champion after he had defeated Tommy Burns in Sydney after 14 rounds by technical knockout .
  • On December 26, 1967, the film Magical Mystery Tour by and with the Beatles premiered on English television (BBC 1, 8:35 pm, broadcast in sw). After catastrophic criticism, it was never shown again on mainstream English TV.
  • On December 26, 2004, a submarine megathrust earthquake with a magnitude of 9.1 struck 85 km off the northwest coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra . It was the third strongest quake ever recorded and triggered a series of devastating tsunamis on the shores of the Indian Ocean. In total, around 230,000 people died as a result of the quake and its aftermath, around 165,000 of them in Indonesia alone. Over 110,000 people were injured, and over 1.7 million coastal residents around the Indian Ocean were left homeless. In English, this event is known as "Boxing Day tsunami".

See also

Web links

Commons : Boxing Day  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Boxing Day  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Johannes Knuth: Sydney – Hobart sailing race: record run in the indoor swimming pool (photo series). In: . December 28, 2013, accessed December 27, 2019 .
  2. Behind the scenes of the Magical Mystery Tour. In: . Directed by Francis Hanly, Apple Films Ltd./BBC 2012, archived from the original on October 8, 2013 ; accessed on October 7, 2013 (dubbed, documentation, 58 min.).