What the heck is Boxing Day? - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

What the heck is Boxing Day?

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Boxing Day shoppers in the UK. Photo: NBC Boxing Day shoppers in the UK. Photo: NBC
KHQ.com -

The day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day, but what is Boxing Day and where did it come from? Boxing Day has vague origins and traditions. Here's what we were able to find out.

In recent years, Boxing Day, a holiday celebrated in the United Kingdom, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya and some other countries, has become the UK's answer to Black Friday. But historians think the name could have come from the practice the church had of opening alms boxes and giving money to the poor.

British employers also used Dec. 26 to give gifts and money to their employees. Presumably they did this on the day after Christmas because their servants and maids were so busy preparing the Christmas feast and party that they were unable to celebrate Christmas on the day itself.

In Ireland, Boxing Day is sometimes called The Day of the Wren. This comes from an old tradition, in which children would kill a wren and sell its feathers for good luck. More recent celebrations in Ireland include a fake wren.

And in some former British colonies, Boxing Day is in fact celebrated with boxing matches. 

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