Boxing Day

(in Britain) the first weekday after Christmas, when Christmas gifts or boxes are given to employees, letter carriers, etc.
[1825-35]

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▪ public holiday
      in Great Britain (United Kingdom) and some Commonwealth countries, particularly Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, holiday (December 26) on which servants, tradespeople, and the poor traditionally were presented with gifts. Explanations for the origin of the name have varied, with some believing that it derived from the opening of alms boxes that had been placed in churches for the collection of donations to aid the poor. Others, however, have held that it came from the boxes of gifts given to employees on the day after Christmas. According to this theory, because the work of servants was required for the Christmas Day celebrations of their employers, they were allowed the following day for their own observance of the holiday. The practice of giving bonuses to service employees has continued, although it is now often done before rather than after Christmas Day.

      When December 26 comes on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is designated as the official public holiday. December 26 is also the feast day of Saint Stephen, the patron saint of horses, and Boxing Day has come to be a day of sporting events, including horse races, fox hunting, and rugby. The holiday was not perpetuated by the English in the American colonies.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Boxing day — Le Boxing Day (de l anglais signifiant littéralement « jour des boîtes »), ou l Après Noël au Québec, est le jour du 26 décembre, dans plusieurs pays du Commonwealth. Ce jour là, la tradition veut que l on distribue des cadeaux aux plus …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Boxing Day — Als Boxing Day bezeichnet man in Großbritannien sowie in zahlreichen Ländern des Commonwealth einen Feiertag, der am 26. Dezember begangen wird. In evangelischen Ländern wird an diesem Tag meist der Zweite Weihnachtsfeiertag, in katholischen… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Boxing day — Box ing day The first week day after Christmas, a legal holiday on which Christmas boxes are given to postmen, errand boys, employees, etc. The night of this day is boxing night. [Eng.] [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Boxing Day — ► NOUN chiefly Brit. ▪ a public holiday on the first day after Christmas Day. ORIGIN from the former custom of giving tradespeople a Christmas box on this day …   English terms dictionary

  • Boxing Day — n [U and C] BrE a national holiday in England and Wales, on the first day after Christmas Day that is not a Sunday …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Boxing Day — Boxing ,Day noun count or uncount BRITISH the first day after Christmas Day, that is a public holiday in the U.K. and Canada …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Boxing-day — (engl.), s. Christmas box …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Boxing Day — 1809, first weekday after Christmas, on which postmen and others expect to receive a Christmas present, originally in reference to the custom of distributing the contents of the Christmas box, which was placed in the church for charity… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Boxing Day — n. December 26, a legal holiday in most parts of the Commonwealth: so called from the former custom of giving gift boxes to employees, mail carriers, etc …   English World dictionary

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