Talk:Boxing Day

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Untitled[edit]

Boxing Day and shopping are two ideas closely connected and even though some people may think that spending money is now a sin we should all remember the quote money makes the world go round.

Earlier comments[edit]

Boxing Day is the first weekday after Christmas Day. This is substantiated in numerous documents, and in perfectly clear language in both the Oxford English Dictionary and also the Merriam Webster Dictionary (the most recent versions of each, and naturally in preceeding versions.) So, referring to several of the comments below, then Boxing Day is not on a fixed date. Decades of tradition and historical data cannot simply be ignored because popular opinion feels like a change.

I don't know who wrote the foregoing but their view has always been my understanding. However, while the Oxford English Dictionary does define Boxing Day as the first weekday after Christmas and gives an authority date of 1849, by 1865 Halliwell (A Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words 5th Edition - and possibly earlier; I haven't seen the previous editions) was defining Boxing Day as "The day after Christmas". It seems even in the mid 19th century there was lack of clarity on whether Boxing Day was the first weekday or always the 26th. Perhaps this long-standing confusion needs to be clearer in the main article. I note when I was growing up in the UK in the 1950s and 1960s it was generally accepted that Boxing Day could never fall on a Saturday or Sunday. If Christmas (25th) fell on a Saturday then the Sunday was called 'Christmas Sunday' and Monday 27th was Boxing Day. If Christmas fell on a Friday the two following days were 'Christmas Saturday' and 'Christmas Sunday' and Boxing Day was Monday 28th. I am not talking here about holidays or Monday being a substitute day for Boxing Day; the Monday (27th or 28th) was Boxing Day itself. That definition seems to have been lost in the course of the last 50 years. Nowadays in Britain we appear to have gravitated to fixing Boxing Day as the 26th regardless of the day of the week (despite numerous dictionary definitions to the contrary).JordiYiman (talk) 18:17, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

"In Ireland the 26th is known as St Stephen's Day". This is misleading: As stated correctly in the article Saint Stephen, his feast is on the 26th in the West in general, even in some Lutheran churches.
S.


Certainly St Stephen's day is a fixed date of December 26th. I thought Boxing Day was always the 26th. The origins of the name have a number of Urban legend associated but the tradition of giving to servants is an accepted fact. Because in older days there were no holidays particularly for servants I suggest that Boxing Day is actually a fixed date. Rjstott

Boxing Day itself is on a fixed day, but -- if the 26th is on a weekend -- the public holiday for it occurs on the first working day following the 26th. A bit of a fine distinction, but that's how it works here in Canada, anyway. -- Paul Drye
You are right for the UK also, most people celebrate Boxing Day on December 26 if it falls on a Sunday. Some Christians don't due to the clash with their Sabbath. However, Boxing Day is a secular celebration (as is evidenced by the people who celebrate it), not a Christian one, so I think the general wisdom should win out in terms of dating, I have made a note on the beliefs of Christians in the article.Rje 15:03, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Unless, of course, Christmas and Boxing Day both fall on weekend days - in which case the Boxing Day Holiday is the 2nd day after the weekend (Christmas Day Holiday being the first). Eg. This year's Christmas:
  • Sat Dec 25 (weekend day)
  • Sun Dec 26 (weekend day)
  • Mon Dec 27 (holiday)
  • Tue Dec 28 (holiday)
  • Wed Dec 29
  • Thu Dec 30
  • Fri Dec 31
  • Sat Jan 1 (weekend day)
  • Sun Jan 2 (weekend day)
  • Mon Jan 5 (holiday)
-- Chuq 21:18, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)

That's how it is in the UK too. I'll edit the article. -- Derek Ross

I heard it was because, in Victorian times, one spent Christmas with one's family, then went out on Boxing Day to visit one's friends and give them presents. I suppose this explanation somewhat fits with the giving servant's presents one. -- SJK

Ah, User:Jess Cully had it right. In my Commonwealth country (Bermuda), Boxing Day itself is always on the 26th - the day off work associated with it may move to the day following (just as if November 11th - or any other holiday on a fixed calendar day - is on a Sunday, people get the following Monday off), but Boxing Day stays on the day after Christmas. The same seems to be true in the rest (Canada above, and the UK, from Cully's comments). Noel (talk) 12:14, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

In English common-law Boxing Day always occurs on a weekday - either the 26th or the 27th - c.f. Bank Holidays Act 1871. This is why when Christmas Day falls on a Saturday the Monday is legally 'Boxing Day' and the Tuesday is legally 'Substitute Bank Holiday in lieu of Christmas Day'. All reference sources I can find [1 http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=Boxing+Day] [2 http://www.merriamwebster.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=boxing+day] state that Boxing Day is the first weekday after Christmas 'not that it is the 26th December. Also see Oxford Dictionary, and for the international angle how about 'Banks And Bank Holidays (Amendment) Bill' of New South Wales? Also 'Holidays Act 1983' of Commonwealth of Australia. As in the UK, if Boxing Day falls on a Saturday, a proclamation is used to make the following Monday a public holiday, but this is not necessary if the 26th is a Sunday as the Monday is actually Boxing Day itself. Calling 26th December 'Boxing Day' when it falls on a Sunday (as per BBC usage in recent times) has been deprecated as being improper and inaccurate.


Would it be fair to include both points of view? To explain that to most commonwealth citizens Boxing Day is the 26th December and would only be understood as such, but legally it is actually the second bank holiday associated with Christmas and as such it is legally defined as the first workday after Christmas day. 81.178.92.95 (talk) 19:51, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Boxing Day and shopping are two ideas closely connected and even though some people may think that spending money is nowadays a sin we should all remember two quotes money makes the world go round the show must go on — Preceding unsigned comment added by Joseggite (talkcontribs) 23:31, 16 March 2011 (UTC)


The first sentence of this page states as a fact what is later discussed as one of several possibilities in the Etymology section... thus giving wrong impression to people skimming the page.


It is misleading to say that Boxing Day is a Bank Holiday in the UK. The legislation that I have seen does not use the term "Boxing Day" - it only refers to days as December 2xth. I don't know whether you will ever settle the argument about whether boxing day can fall on a Sunday, but let's not cloud the issue by claiming that Boxing Day is a legal term. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 81.108.89.77 (talk) 18:44, 15 December 2013 (UTC)

Yes, but what is it all about?[edit]

This article says next to nothing about how the day is typically celebrated (or if it even is) and what generally is associated with the day. I see a lot about the origins and why it's called Boxing Day, but I'd really like to know how Boxing Day in the 21st century is handled. Thanks in advance! :) Girolamo Savonarola 03:04, 22 December 2005 (UTC)

It's simply that in Britain and a few other countries, Christmas is a 2-day holiday event (though it's fast becoming at least a week). After the feasting of Christmas Day most people eat cold cuts and visit family. Few people cook. Mainly they stay in and watch football on the telly nursing a hangover. It's also the day when many families hold some sort of family party in the evening.

My British friend told me boxing day was the day when you make sure you kept the box from the gifts you didn't much like, so you can return them. I guess he was pulling my leg, eh?
I don't know if it's 'traditional' or even a common practice but in my personal experience (my family and my friends families) boxing day is a day to visit friends and family you didn't see on Christmas. Food is typically left overs from christmas - cold turkey and salad (or pickles and preserves in my boyfriends family), christmas cake/pudding ect. Essentially a 2nd Christmas with different people.
As the article mentions it's also a big day for shopping (first of the 'January' sales) and for many shops the biggest returns day of the year as everyone swaps unwanted christmas presents. Danikat (talk) 14:52, 1 April 2010 (UTC)
The whole shopping part is a bit of a mess featuring all sorts of wild generalisations, for example where did the 5am number get plucked from? Also some retailers don't accept returns until later in the month either. ( See the gift receipt part from http://www.selfridges.com/en/StaticPage/Refunds+and+returns/ ) 83.217.118.194 (talk) 10:27, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Tsunami[edit]

I have removed the Tsunami from 'events that occur on Boxing day' as IMHO that title implies an event that commonly occurs on boxing day, NOT a historic event/disaster that occured on boxing day... Nil Einne 15:59, 25 December 2005 (UTC)

I agree - this is a lame ass wikipedia article since it doesn't really say what boxing day is except that it's a holiday. i think i'm gonna make some edits here...

Would it make sense to have a "Notable Boxing Days" and list the 2005 tsunami amongst other historical Boxing Day events? ProfessorTom (talk) 18:48, 27 November 2013 (UTC)

Typo in fourth paragraph[edit]

..."and maybe sometimes leftover food."

should likely read:

"and sometimes leftover food."

(without quotes, of course)


Deekin (talk) 04:53, 27 December 2013 (UTC) Deekin Deekin (talk) 04:53, 27 December 2013 (UTC)

Wren's Day?[edit]

"It is also known as both St. Stephen's Day and the Day of the Wren or Wren's Day in Ireland." I am in my 60s and have lived in Ireland all my life and have never heard of St Stephen's Day being referred to as "Wren's Day" or "The Day of the Wren". I have never heard of anyone referring to it as anything other that St Stephen's Day. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.111.234.111 (talk) 20:12, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

I am from Ireland too, and I have heard it, here and here are two links for you. Murry1975 (talk) 20:26, 6 December 2014 (UTC)

Age of the name "Boxing Day"[edit]

Can anyone provide an old literary citation or newsclipping that would date the "Boxing Day" name to having been used "at least as early as ..." ? See this article for an example of what I mean: [1] 104.32.193.6 (talk) 17:01, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Trading Places ???[edit]

There is/was a British/Canadian tradition of officers and enlisted men trading places (as much as practical) for the day, which is in turn supposed to originate from an older tradition of servants and employers trading places, which I suspect is related to the tradition of servants coming to the front door and being greeted by their employer with gifts. I do not currently have any citable sources yet this was so common I am sure there must be some. What I find odd is that these traditions (except the last) are not even mentioned in this article. 104.32.193.6 (talk) 17:12, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

I tried doing a quick bit of digging and found the following intriguing reference (also without supporting documentation sadly...

Happy Boxing Day! It would seem, especially to us Yanks, that Boxing Day might refer to the day you beat the cr@p out of your annoying relatives.. but NO! It instead refers to the day that servants of the rich were traditionally given gifts - well that's one explanation. It's also Saint Stephen's Day - celebrated in Italy for sure. The tradition of giving gifts on this day harkens all the way back to the Romans, celebrating 'Saturnalia' and not only giving servants gifts, but also trading places with them for one day a year.[1] (emphasis added)

104.32.193.6 (talk) 17:36, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Someone's facebook page is not a reliable source even if they call them self The Language Chef. Walter Görlitz (talk) 18:39, 13 December 2014 (UTC)
Which is why I said "without supporting documentation" of course. 104.32.193.6 (talk) 22:51, 30 December 2014 (UTC)

Dubious[edit]

The small paragraph about the United States under Date should probably either be removed or rewritten. The US doesn't recognize Boxing Day in any way and the citation links are either out dated or show that employees aren't getting an extra day off for Boxing Day. The only people that have even heard of it in the US are British. Trevorep (talk) 21:04, 9 December 2015 (UTC)

Agree. Two references actually support a day off for state employees on December 26. One is clear that it is in relation to Christmas itself. There is no indication that it is a celebration of Boxing Day. It appears to be similar to allowing the day after U.S. Thanksgiving as a day off. No one would suggest that this is a celebration of Black Friday even though the dates coincide. 208.81.212.222 (talk) 19:32, 14 December 2015 (UTC)

Odd detail about Sudbury[edit]

This sentence about Sudbury under Shopping is odd: "The city council of Greater Sudbury, Ontario, which was the largest city in Canada to maintain this restriction as of the early 2010s, formally repealed its store hours bylaw on 9 December 2014."

Is it trying to say that Sudbury used to be the largest place where a _municipal_ law kept stores closed? It certainly wasn't and isn't the largest city in Canada with no shopping on Boxing Day. That is probably Halifax, NS. The detail about size, whatever it means, seems perhaps not relevant and confusing.

--BradLSpencer (talk) 04:47, 20 December 2015 (UTC)

The lead[edit]

The second paragraph in the lead deals with holidays that also fall on the 26th and aren't boxing day or even related to boxing day other than the coincidence of dates. I suggest striking that paragraph entirely as this article is only about boxing day and whatever else happens to fall on that day (which isn't always on the 26th anyway) isn't really relevant. I wouldn't object to listing links in a section at the end of the article with the heading of "Other holidays on or near Boxing Day", but I don't think it's really necessary as readers can simply go to the articles for the related dates e.g December 25,, December 26, etc. Rklawton (talk) 17:32, 26 December 2015 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

Hello fellow Wikipedians,

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  1. ^ "The Language Chef". Facebook. Retrieved 13 December 2014.