Posted on

Boxing Day Traditions

This blog was originally published in 2013. I had no idea what or why Boxing Day was celebrated in England. So I thought you might like to know—again. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to everyone!–Stew

Boxing Day Hunt in Cowbridge, Wales. Photo by Michael Gwyther-Jones (2008). PD-Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.
Boxing Day Hunt in Cowbridge, Wales. Photo by Michael Gwyther-Jones (2008). PD-Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

I recently found out every English Premier League soccer team will be playing on Boxing Day in England. It happens to be the day after Christmas and apparently, this is a tradition in England. It almost seems like every English sport and teams will play that day. I guess it’s kind of like every NFL team playing on Christmas Day.

What Is Boxing Day? 

So Sandy asks me, “Do you know what Boxing Day is and what the tradition is?”

Boxing Day Hunt. Photo by Bob Jones (2009). PD-Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.
Boxing Day Hunt. Photo by Bob Jones (2009). PD-Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

I naturally say, “Of course I do. It’s not hard to figure out. It’s the day when a big boxing match is held, huge wagers are made, and they all eat chips and dip (well, I suppose our type of chips). Just like our Super Bowl.”

Wrong.

I began to research Boxing Day and found out that it is a secular holiday in England (and other countries but primarily the former British empire). It is a bank holiday and as I correctly surmised, every sport under the sun has matches that day.

Medieval Origins

Boxing Day for Dancers. Engraving by anonymous (1850). PD-100+ Wikimedia Commons.
Boxing Day for Dancers. Engraving by anonymous (1850). PD-100+ Wikimedia Commons.

There are several ideas as to how Boxing Day got its start. Everyone seems to agree it had its origins back in the Middle Ages. One thought is that a box was put at the front door (I know – there must be a more historically correct name) of the castles and as guests left, they would throw coins into the box. The day after Christmas, the box would be opened and the money distributed to the servants.

Another theory was a box would be given to each servant the day after Christmas and it would contain their gifts and bonuses for the year. They would be given the day off after Christmas in recognition for having served the family on Christmas day.

It likely began as a religious tradition within the churches when Alms Boxes would be placed inside the church. Special offerings were made in honor of the Feast of Saint Stephen. It just happens that the Feast would always fall on the day after Christmas.

The English Black Friday

Boxing Day Madness. Photo by Erica Basnicki (2010). PD-Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.
Boxing Day Madness. Photo by Erica Basnicki (2010). PD-Creative Commons Attribution – Share Alike 2.0. Wikimedia Commons.

Today, Boxing Day in Britain is also known as one of the biggest shopping days. I guess it’s kind of like our Black Friday (do you know how the term Black Friday came about?). The stores have big discounts—maybe the biggest discounts are on boxing gloves?

The term Black Friday came about because that was the day the major retailers would turn a profit for the year. You know, the company is now in the “black.” Not sure if that’s true but it sounds logical. If you think this is false news, let me know.

I hope you all have a great Boxing Day. Perhaps now you will be better prepared to celebrate Boxing Day 2016. We need another holiday, especially the bankers.

What’s New With Sandy and Stew?

Sandy has completed the new landing pages for each book, including the future books (i.e., Nazi Occupation and Jim Morrison: Walks through Curious Paris Cemeteries). I hope you will check them out.

Doris and her wonderful team out of Dallas (AuthorLink) have completed the ePub version of the medieval book (Volume One). It is available on Kindle and iBooks. As time goes on, we suspect that more electronic versions will be sold than the soft cover books.

Again, if you have read any of the walking tour books (in whole or part), we would very much appreciate you writing a brief review on Amazon. It seems books move up the Amazon hierarchy ladder based on the number of reviews. Thanks for taking a couple of minutes to do that for us.

Someone is Commenting On Our Blogs 

Thanks to my good friend Kathleen M. for her comments on our Cornelia Fort blog. Kathleen lives in Nashville and connected with Cornelia’s roots. I greatly appreciate Kathleen posting the blog on her Facebook page. Hopefully we can build our audience this way.

If there is a topic you’d like to see a blog written about, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I love hearing from you so keep those comments coming.

Thank You

Sandy and I appreciate you visiting with us. We have some exciting things on the horizon and we’ll keep you updated as we go along.

Follow Stew:

1462505356_Facebook

1462420482_Twitter

1462422248_Instagram

Find Stew’s books on Amazon and iBooks.

Please note that we do not and will not take compensation from individuals or companies mentioned or promoted in the blogs.

Stew_Ross_Logo_CMYK

Walks Through History

 

Copyright © 2016 Stew Ross

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *