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Sunday, 14 April 2013

Boxing Day

Boxing Day is a British tradition, going back many centuries but only made an official holiday in 1871. Also known as St. Stephen's Day, it was customarily a time for giving to the poor.

The name comes partly from the boxes kept in British churches to collect money for the needy. On the day after Christmas Day it became a custom of the nineteenth century Victorians for tradesmen to collect their "Christmas boxes" or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year on the day after Christmas.

In South Africa, Boxing Day is known as 'Day of Goodwill', whilst in various continental European countries, it is known as 'Christmas II' or 'Second Christmas Day'.

On Boxing Day 2004 a massive earthquake created a tsunami around the Indian Ocean resulting in the deaths of over 300,000 people.

In Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK, Boxing Day is the heaviest shopping day of the year. The picture below (Wikipedia Commons) shows the Eaton Center, Toronto, Canada on December 26th.

In some places, Boxing Day has become associated with sporting events. For example, the United Kingdom traditionally has a full program of Football matches and some of the African Commonwealth nations, prize-fighting contests are held on December 26th. 

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