Boxing Day in Australia is observed on the day after Christmas i.e. December 26. If you are thinking that Aussies use to punch each other on this day, you are mistaken! Contrary to its name, it is celebrated as a major shopping day, as an extension of the Christmas celebrations. Many major sporting events are also organized on Boxing Day. Now, how the day is celebrated in Australia is something that we will discuss after a little while because you may be already intrigued to know how the day got its strange name. So, here we go.
How the Boxing day got its name?
There are several theories about the origin of its name. According to some theories, the day got its name because churches use to open their alms boxes for the poor and needy ones on the next day of Christmas. This was the norm for centuries. Another popular theory is that the name has something to with Christmas boxes. These boxes with gifts were given to employees or servants during the days of the British aristocracy. Sometimes, food or money was also given in these boxes. Most of the time, the food given in the Christmas boxes was the leftover from Christmas dinner!
History of Boxing Day
The day was made a formal holiday in all nations ruled by the British Empire in the 19th century. The move was made by Queen Victoria. This move was appreciated by all, especially the working class such as maids, cooks, drivers, and so on who then started to get a day off from their regular work. Soon, they also start to receive Christmas boxes with small gifts from their masters.
How Different Countries Celebrate Boxing Day
Almost all the countries that celebrate the day do not deviate much from the common practice of gifting things as a token of appreciation. However, tradition sometimes differs. For example, hunting was the norm in the U.K on Boxing Day, but after the Hunting Act in 2004, all this practice was stopped. Soon, the people in the U.K started to celebrate the day by showcasing their love for football. In Australia, Yacht races and organizing cricket tournaments is the norm. In fact, yacht races were organized in Sydney since 1945. New Zealand, on the other hand, celebrates the day with horse racing and playing football. However, shopping is the common thread that binds all the nations into one about how they celebrate Boxing Day.
I hope you fell in love with this post and will look forward to knowing about more things about Australia. Till then, goodbye!