Boxing Day


Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally celebrated the day following Christmas Day, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers, in the United Kingdom, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Bermuda, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and other former British colonies.

In the Roman Catholic Church's liturgical calendar, the day is dedicated to St. Stephen, so is known as St. Stephen's Day to Catholics, and to the population generally in Italy, Ireland, Finland, and Alsace and Moselle in France.

In Ireland - when the island as a whole was part of the United Kingdom - the Bank Holidays Act 1871 established the feast day of St. Stephen as a non-movable public holiday on 26 December. Since the creation of the Republic of Ireland following partition in 1920, Northern Ireland - being part of the United Kingdom - officially reverted to use of the British name 'Boxing Day'. It is also known as both St. Stephen's Day and the Day of the Wren or Wren's Day, a nod to an old tradition in which poor children would kill a wren, then sell the feathers to neighbors for good luck. In today’s celebrations, the wren is fake..

In Scotland, Boxing Day has been specified as an additional bank holiday since 1974, by Royal Proclamation under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971.

In some European countries, most notably Germany, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands and those in Scandinavia, 26 December is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day.

In Australia, Boxing Day is a federal public holiday. In the Australian state of South Australia, 28 December is a public holiday known as Proclamation Day and Boxing Day is not normally a public holiday. The holiday for Proclamation Day is observed on the first weekday after Christmas Day or the Christmas Day holiday. Nowadays Boxing Day is popular in Australia as the first day of a Test cricket match held at the MCG and the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race. A Test match is also often held in South Africa starting on Boxing Day.

In New Zealand, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday; penalty rates and lieu time are provided to employees who work on Boxing Day. In Canada, Boxing Day is a federal statutory holiday. Government offices, banks and post offices/delivery are closed.

In Canadian provinces where Boxing Day was a statutory holiday, and it falls on a Saturday or Sunday, compensation days are given in the following week.

In the United States, December 26 is given as a holiday to state employees in some, mainly southern, states: Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Texas but it is not known as Boxing Day.

In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. Read more ...



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