In Britain, Boxing Day is usually celebrated on the following day after Christmas Day, 26 December, also known as St. Stephen’s Day. However, strictly speaking, Boxing Day is the first weekday after Christmas.
But why is it called boxing day ?
There are several explanations :
⇒ Christmas boxes were originally literally earthenware boxes. In mediaeval England, these boxes were used by the poor (servants, apprentices etc.) to save money throughout the year. At Christmas, the boxes were broken open and the savings shared to fund Christmas festivities.
⇒ In a similar tradition the the medieval boxes, Christmas boxes were gifts, usually money, given to tradespeople or others who have rendered some service throughout the year but who aren’t normally paid directly by the donor – for example, office cleaners, milkmen, postman etc.
⇒ Boxes in churches for seasonal donations to the needy were opened on Christmas Day, and the contents distributed by the clergy the following day.