Introduction Beliefs Comparison Charts Denominations Facts History Holidays Overview Biographies Practices and Rituals Symbols Texts Timeline Items and Things

New and Featured in Christianity Section

What were the 10 Plagues of the Exodus?

What are the Seven Deadly Sins?

New and Featured On Religion Facts

Compare Sunni and Shia Muslims

Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormonism Comparison Chart

Religion Facts offers

downloadable charts

Christian books

New Release

The Great Reformer

by Austen Ivereigh

New Release

40 Questions about the Historical Jesus

by Marvin Pate

Best seller

Jesus on Trial

by David Limbaugh

New Release

New Rules for Love, Sex, and Dating

by Andy Stanley

New Release

by Ruth Soukup

published: 1/4/05
updated: 5/14/13

Boxing Day

What is Boxing Day?

In Christianity, Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26 in Great Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. When December 26 falls on a weekend, the following Monday is observed as the public holiday.

Traditionally, Boxing Day was a holiday on which servants, apprentices and the poor were presented with gifts. The origin of the name is not known for certain, but it may derive from the opening of alms boxes that had been placed in churches over the holidays for distribution to the poor.

Unknown history

Another explanation is it is named for the gift boxes that service employees opened on the day after Christmas, since they had to work on Christmas Day to enable their employers to observe the holiday. The origin of the holiday is unknown, but was probably first observed in the Middle Ages.

Today, the tradition of giving bonuses to service employees at Christmas time continues, though it is now usually done before Christmas. As December 26 is also the feast day of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr and patron saint of horses, Boxing Day has become a day for sporting events like horse racing, fox hunting and rugby.

Recommended for You

More on Christianity

More Christian Holidays

World Religions - Main pages

Christian beliefs

Christian denominations

Christian fast facts

Christian history

Christian holidays

Christian biographies

Christian practices

Christian symbols






Mardi Gras

Palm Sunday

Saint Patrick's Day

Valentine's Day






Jehovah's Witnesses




  1. "Boxing Day."  Encyclopædia Britannica. 2004.  Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 
More Information

© 2004-2015 ReligionFacts. All rights reserved. | About Us | How to Cite | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Advertising Info
Site created with Dreamweaver. Web hosting by Blue Host. Menu powered by Milonic.
Religions: Religion Comparison Chart | Bahá'í | Buddhism | Chinese Religion | Christianity | Confucianism | Hinduism | Islam | Jehovah's Witnesses | Judaism | Mormonism | Rastafarianism | Scientology | Shinto | Taoism
Features: Big Religion Chart | Religions A-Z | Religious Symbols Gallery
ReligionFacts provides free, objective information on religion, world religions, comparative religion and religious topics.