Although the practice of almsgiving on December 26 has faded with charity now being given in the weeks leading up to Christmas, the Boxing Day name has endured.
Why is Boxing Day important
December 26 is not only a day for Santa Claus to catch his breath but a public holiday known as Boxing Day in the United Kingdom and other British Commonwealth countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
How to observe Boxing Day
Boxing Day has recently become synonymous with watching sports. A number of leagues in England, Scotland, and Northern Ireland hold football and rugby matches, while Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa are known for cricket matches on Boxing Day. Other sports that typically occur on Boxing Day include horse racing and ice hockey.
When Christmas day passes, the celebration continues—at least in some countries. In the United Kingdom, as well as a number of other countries that used to be part of the British Empire—such as Scotland, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada—Boxing Day is a bank holiday or public holiday that became official in 1871. Boxing Day is traditionally recognized on December 26, but if that day falls on a Saturday, the celebration moves to the following Monday. If December 26 is a Sunday, Boxing Day is observed on the following Tuesday
For some people, Boxing Day is a time to spend with family or friends, particularly those not seen on Christmas Day itself. Many people will gather for meals, spend time outside, or simply relax at home and enjoy the day off. Traditional Boxing Day food includes baked ham, pease pudding, and mince pies with brandy butter, along with a slice of Christmas cake or another dessert.
- Non-Profits website for the observance