Do you know the origin of
Only a few
countries celebrate "Boxing Day", which takes place on 26th
Like Christmas Day it is
also a public holiday in England and in countries such as the
Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. The name goes
back to medieval times, more than 800 years ago, when alms boxes
were placed in every church to collect money for the poor.
Traditionally, it is on this day that the alms box was opened and
the content was distributed to the poor of the community. It is
thought to have been the Romans who first introduced this type of
collecting box. They, in fact, did not distribute the contents to
the needy, but used it to gamble on the games they played during
their winter celebrations.
In 19th century England,
it was a custom to give boxes filled with food or money or both to
family of servants and suppliers on 26th December. Historians say
the holiday developed because servants were required to work on
Christmas Day, but took the following day off, to celebrate Christmas with their families on Boxing Day. Since then, it is common to give
food, money or clothes to poor families on Boxing Day.
Boxing Day is also known
as St. Stephen's Day.