Saturday, December 26, 2015

Holiday Party - Boxing Day and Start of Kwanzaa

Today marks both Boxing Day and the start of Kwanzaa. I talked about Kwanzaa last year, so I decided that I wanted to touch on Boxing Day this year since it’s a holiday that I’ve heard mentioned often, but have never really celebrated since it’s not as big of a holiday here in the US. However, it’s a big deal across the pond (and to the North).

Boxing Day is a holiday traditionally celebrated on the 26th, when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts, known as a "Christmas box", from their bosses or employers. It is now considered a bank holiday in the countries it is celebrated in: the United Kingdom, Barbados, Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, Bermuda, New Zealand, Kenya, South Africa, and other former British colonies.

This day also has many other names. For instance, in South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. 

It is also known as St. Stephen’s Day since the day is dedicated to St. Stephen in the Roman Catholic Church's liturgical calendar. 

And in Ireland, it is known as both St. Stephen's Day and the Day of the Wren. It is also celebrated in some European countries as the Second Christmas Day.

Just like Black Friday in the US, Boxing Day is considered a major shopping holiday. It is also a major day for sports, particularly in the UK, Australia, South Africa and Sweden, with all having major sporting events occurring on the 26th.

So in other words, this day is a big deal for many people. I think the closest comparison here in the US would be a mix of Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the Super Bowl. It sounds like an interesting holiday, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on it, so feel free to share below. And have a good Boxing Day and Kwanzaa!


  1. Well what a coincidence. The other day my sister and I had a very light discussion about what Boxing Day was, opinions differed and I'm glad to see I was pretty close to guessing what it was all about.

  2. I knew it was a holiday in England due to reading stories set in England, but I didn't fully understand what it was until now.
    Thanks for the informative post.