Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Aidan. Aidan Wonders, “Why is Black Friday called boxing day in Canada?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Aidan!
People around the world celebrate Boxing Day on December 26. Although Americans don't recognize Boxing Day as a holiday, people in many other parts of the world, including Canada, New Zealand, Great Britain, and Australia, look forward to the day after Christmas each year.
Let's take a look at a few of the theories about the origins of Boxing Day. Historically, service workers, such as maids and drivers, had to work on Christmas.
Employers would give them the day off on December 26 and present them with gifts of money, food, and clothing, as a sort of Christmas bonus and token of appreciation. Some say the name “Boxing Day" originated from the practice of putting these gifts in boxes for easier transportation.
Another theory centers on the practice of opening the alms boxes in churches. Clergy placed alms boxes in churches to collect money for people experiencing poverty during the holiday season. The day after Christmas, they opened the alms boxes and distributed the money.
Others claim Boxing Day dates back to Victorian-era England. In those days, people experiencing poverty would go from house to house asking for donations. Compassionate neighbors would fill their boxes with generous donations of food, clothing, and gifts.
Though plenty of families and businesses still celebrate Boxing Day by helping others, Boxing Day now revolves around celebrating with friends and family.
Although government offices and banks close on Boxing Day, stores remain open. In fact, Boxing Day has become a bit like America's “Black Friday," a popular shopping holiday the day after Thanksgiving.
Many Boxing Day celebrations include a trip to the mall to shop for bargains. Many families also use the holiday as an opportunity to go outside and get some exercise after spending Christmas indoors.