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Boxing Day

Boxing Day


Ever wanted to know why it is called ‘Boxing Day’? Remy delves into the history of Boxing Day and some famous Aussie traditions.

Written by Remy Naughton

When I think of Boxing Day, I usually have the ‘50% OFF EVERYTHING’ images running through my head.

Others think of the cricket test, maybe it’s watching the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race, or perhaps others are salivating over the public holiday pay.

Growing up, my siblings and I would sit in a hot room waiting to go to the beach while watching Dad yell about something to do with cricket on the TV.

The memories of burning hot sand singeing our feet while we would run to the ocean is something I wish I could forget, but the laughs and the fun of beach cricket is something I will forever hold on to.

Boxing Day is different for everyone, but how did it start?

Origins of Boxing Day

Boxing Day originated in the UK in the 1800s and is celebrated in most countries under the British Commonwealth.

The name comes from a time around Queen Victoria’s reign, when the rich would box up gifts to give to the poor.

The date was traditionally a day off for the servants and their masters would give them a special Christmas box.

On the now-called Boxing Day, the servants would also give their families Christmas boxes.

A professor from Monash University believes the tradition of giving Christmas boxes goes back to the 16th century.

Constant Mews told SBS it was initially created to bridge social divides.

In Ireland and the Catalonia region of Spain, the date has a religious connection and is celebrated as Saint Stephen’s Day.

In some European countries, the day is celebrated as a second Christmas Day.

The name comes from a time around Queen Victoria’s reign, when the rich would box up gifts to give to the poor.

How is it different in Australia?

The tradition of handing presents from the rich to the poor followed its way to Australia.

But in the Late 19th and early 20th century, Boxing Day in Australia is about four things, and four things only.

              1. Shopping

              2. Cricket

              3. Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

              4. Family

Beaches are littered with a range of colourful umbrellas, and the sound of cards accepting payments fills the shopping centres, while laughter is shared around the table at a family lunch.

Everyone spends their Boxing Day very differently, but it is important to reflect on the year and how you want to continue it in the new year.

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