Some people believe that in medieval times, Christmas was an event in which families would gather. After that holiday, the lesser class people, the serfs would get together with their families in the castle of the King, who would hand out presents to them. Once the King was done celebrating his holiday on December 25, he would then use the day of the 26 to hand out needed items to those who were without. He would give them things such as fabric, tools to farm with and basic foods. These items would be given in boxes. Because the gifts were packaged in boxes, that is one explanation of how the name of Boxing Day in the United Kingdom was created.
Another theory is that because it is customary to give a small gift to people who provide service, such as postal workers and newspaper deliver people. Since Christmas is a holiday in which these types of service people do not show up at customer’s homes; they would appear the next day on December 26 and then be given a box, in other words a gift.
Another plausible explanation exists for Boxing Day in the United Kingdom. The Boxing Day celebration may have started in the United Kingdom may years ago. It used to be very common for servants to bring boxes to their employers the day after Christmas. The employers of the servants would put coins into the boxes. These coins would be the servant’s holiday bonus.
In addition, Boxing Day in the United Kingdom may have arisen due to church activities. Long ago, it was a church tradition for the leaders of the church to look inside their donation boxes on Christmas day. Then, the following day, they would hand the money to poor people.
One other reason that makes just as much sense as the other possible explanations is that long ago, servants would need to work on the holiday of Christmas. Because of that, they would have the next day off to celebrate with their families. The families of the servents would feel badly that the family member was in service on that day and missed the holiday dinner. The dinner would be put in a box so that the servant could eat it the next day. That would make Boxing Day in the United Kingdom fall on December 26, as it usually does.
In present days, Boxing Day in the United Kingdom is traditionally a day when all stores sell their products at reduced prices. This holiday is so popular, that many stores will unofficially turn Boxing Day into a week long event. Boxing Day in the United Kingdom is also a day that is traditional for many sporting events to take place. The most popular sport is football, which in the United States is known as soccer.
A very unusual tradition for Boxing Day in the UK is the act of people waking into the ocean. They do this while dressed in expense and fancy clothes in an effort to raise money for fundraising events.
The Boxing Day celebration is also held in Northern Ireland and it is the day of the biggest soccer game of the year. Some countries of Europe also recognize this day, they include Denmark, Finland, Hungary, Greece, Austria, Belgium, Poland, the Netherlands, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Germany, Italy, Ireland and Slovakia. In addition, the people of Canada also celebrate the day, mostly in the form of stores having widespread sales at discount prices. In Canada, the prices are so reduced that many people will stand in line beginning the night before to ensure that they have access to the products. This however is not done in all parts of the nation; the providences of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Labrador and Newfoundland do not recognize this day and stores are not allowed to be open. As in the United Nations, Canada also holds important sport events on this day. Hockey is the most popular sport in this country and it is the day that the World Junior Hockey Tournament begins.