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The Most Intriguing Facts About Boxing Day

Boxing Day Facts

Boxing Day is not a sporting event where fans can watch their beloved boxers fight on the ring. Instead, Boxing Day is celebrated usually the first day after Christmas or usually during December 26. This began during the time of exploration where crewmen would place money in a Christmas box for good luck and the ship’s safe passage. If the ship indeed returns, the priest on board would distribute the box’s content to the poor. Let’s check out these 10

Fascinating Boxing Day Facts

1 Boxing Day is an observed holiday in Canada, Ireland, Wales, and England since 1871.

2 In past centuries in England, the poor would go from door to door carrying an empty box. Soon enough, this box would be filled with money, Christmas sweets, and food.

3 In the UK, the most popular search terms online during Dec. 26 are searches for sale items.

4 Boxing Day is also observed by the British post office, government offices, and banks.

5 Traditionally, Boxing Day was celebrated with a fox hunt in England, but now it is celebrated with horse races, soccer matches, watching TV, and eating leftovers.

6 The Christmas box used to be made of wood or clay so people can place gifts inside to be opened only when Boxing Day came.

7 The Feast of St. Stephen also falls on Boxing Day. Stoned to death for preaching the good news about Jesus, he asked the Lord to forgive the people who stoned him.

8 During 2004’s Boxing Day, a massive earthquake brought forth a huge tsunami around the Indian Ocean area killing more than 300,000 individuals.

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9 In some areas in England, Boxing Day is celebrated by taking a swim in the sea wearing costumes—called the Boxing Day Dip.

10 In England, churches usually having an alms box which is opened during Boxing Day to be given to the poor.

11 In Ireland, Boxing Day is now called St. Stephen’s Day while in South Africa, Boxing Day is now known as the Day of Goodwill, renamed in an effort to sever the ties to the country’s colonial past. In New Zealand, Australia, UK, and Canada, Boxing Day has become a shopping holiday likened to the US’ Black Friday. In some continental European countries, Boxing Day is known as the Second Christmas Day or Christmas II.

Related: Interesting facts about Christmas Eve

Video: Why Is December 26 Known as ‘Boxing Day?

What is Boxing Day? Mark Connelly, a professor of modern British history at the University of Kent, told Inside Edition Digital, “It’s part of the ancient Christian calendar, marking the first great martyr of Christianity, St. Stephen.” His feast day in late December became a time of charitable giving — particularly from the rich to the poor. “It was quite literally the day of boxes. Little boxes of alms, church doles, little boxes of coins would usually be given out.”