Boxing Day

Boxing Day Quick Facts - ES

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2024 Date26 December 2024
2025 Date26 December 2025

Boxing Day

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Boxing Day History

Boxing Day originally signified a day when employers would distribute gifts or boxes to their servants and other workers as an expression of gratitude for their service. Nowadays, Boxing Day has evolved into a more secular observance, with various customs depending on the specific country. It often includes spending time with family and friends, exchanging gifts, and taking advantage of post-Christmas sales.

Boxing Day is particularly observed in the UK and Ireland, while countries like Germany have a similar holiday called Zweiter Weihnachtsfeiertag, or Second Christmas Day. The origins of Boxing Day can be traced back to the Middle Ages, but it became an official holiday in England during the 19th century under Queen Victoria's reign. In recent years, Boxing Day represents a shared cultural tradition, potentially strengthening the ties between participating countries.

Boxing Day is observed in various ways, mostly centered on family gatherings and exchanging gifts. Some countries also partake in charitable acts, continuing the holiday's original spirit of generosity and appreciation. Significant attention is given to sporting events, particularly in the UK, where football and horse racing fixtures are highly anticipated. In EU countries that observe Boxing Day, it usually occurs on the 26th of December.

Top facts about Boxing Day

  • 26 December is also St Stephen’s Day; commemorating the first Christian martyr Saint Stephen. According to the Acts of the Apostles Stephen was a deacon accused of blasphemy for his teachings. He was stoned to death and is now venerated as a saint in the Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox churches.
  • Boxing Day is one of the 6 bank holidays in the UK. The others are Christmas Day, Good Friday, Easter, Whit Monday and the August Bank Holiday.

Boxing Day Top Things to Do

  • Watch some sport! There is top-tier football and rugby throughout the weekend and in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa cricket Test matches begin. The King George VI Chase, a horse race at Kempton Park also runs; it is known as the 2nd most prestigious race in the calendar.
  • In the UK, it is tradition to take a walk in the crisp winter air and enjoy the outdoors. If you happen to be in the UK try the Snowdonia range (Wales), the Lake District (northern England), the Peak District (the English Midlands) or just round the local streets. You’ve probably eaten a lot over the last few days, so maybe go easy.

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