Boxing Day is the following day after Christmas
Day. Like Christmas Day, Boxing Day is a public
Where does the name Boxing Day came from?
The name of the day goes back to medieval times,
more than 800 years ago, when alms boxes were
placed at the back of every church to collect
money for the poor. Traditionally, it is on this day that the alms box at
every English church is opened and the contents are distributed to the
Historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to
work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants
prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present
them with Christmas boxes.
The Christmas boxes were made from clay and were not
made in the shape of a box. They were hollow clay balls
with a slit in the top.
Boxing Day is a holiday in the United Kingdom, Canada,
and many other Commonwealth nations.
During the late 18th century, Lords and Ladies of the manor would "box
up" their leftover food, or sometimes gifts and distribute them the day
after Christmas to tenants who lived and worked on their lands.
The tradition of giving money still continues today. It is customary for
householders to give small gifts or monetary tips to regular visiting trades
people (the milkman, dustman, coalman, paper boy etc.) and, in some
work places, for employers to give a Christmas bonus to employees.
Boxing Day Hunts
Traditionally Boxing Day is a day for fox hunting.
Horse riders dressed in red and white riding gear,
accompanied by a number of dogs called
foxhounds, chase the fox through the countryside
in the hope of tiring it out.
Eventually the hunters hope the fox will be so
tired that the dogs will be able to catch it and kill
Many animal welfare campaigners object to fox hunting saying it is cruel
to kill a fox in this way, while many proponents and participants view it as
a crucial part of rural history in England, vital for conservation, and a
method of pest contr