Boxing Day is a public holiday in the United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. It is also a holiday in many other countries in the Commonwealth of Nations. It is based on a long custom of giving gifts to poor people. It is usually celebrated on 26 December, the day after Christmas Day; In some countries the public holiday is moved to the next weekday if 26 December is a Saturday or Sunday.
In some countries, stores have sales on Boxing Day, similar to Black Friday sales in the United States. In the United Kingdom, many association football and rugby league games are played on Boxing Day. The King George VI Chase horse race in Surrey is also ran on this day. The IIHF World U20 Championship usually starts on this day.
Boxing Day is an old custom going back to the Middle Ages. The main feature is the giving of gifts to workers or to poor people. The name has many different histories. The term might have started in England. There, servants would get money or gifts on the day after Christmas. These gifts were called "Christmas boxes".
- American Heritage Dictionary, Fourth Edition - 'Boxing Day'
- Oxford English
- "FACT CHECK: The Origins of Boxing Day". Snopes.com.