Religion Why is the day after Christmas called Boxing Day?
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Why is the day after Christmas called Boxing Day?

boxing day
Boxing Day is famous for cricket and sales. But why is the day after Christmas called that? Photo: Getty
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Answer: Working people would collect their Christmas boxes

The Boxing Day tradition is believed to have started somewhere in the Middle Ages, probably the 10th century, in England.

It was also known as St Steven’s Day – and still is in Ireland.

It is generally only a holiday in Commonwealth countries.

All sorts of tradesmen and servants were presented with a gift or “Christmas box” the day after December 25 from their lord.

Another theory is that money was collected and placed in a collection box for priests to open and distribute to the poor. It is likely that there is some truth to both of these stories.

Perhaps the most reliable information is in the carol Good King Wenceslas, where the lyrics state that the Duke of Bohemia saw a poor man gathering wood in the middle of a snowstorm so he collected the leftover food and wine from Christmas Day and delivered it to the peasant the next day.

Although there is no link to boxing, it was also a day when sports like hunting and football were played.

Here on the other side of the world, cricket is played in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG and the world-famous Sydney to Hobart yacht race begins.