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What is Boxing Day?

It has nothing to do with the sport. Boxing Day is a public holiday celebrated on the day straight after Christmas Day. It takes place on December 26 and originated in the United Kingdom.

Where did it originate?

Around 800 years ago, Boxing Day was originally a day off for servants living and working in Great Britain. On that day they received Christmas boxes from their masters and were allowed to go home and spend the day with their loved ones. They would then bring their Christmas Boxes with them to give to their families.

Often times on the day after Christmas, collection boxes for the poor were kept in churches, where people would donate money during Christmas mass, or throughout the season. They were then ‘unboxed’ on the 26 and money was distributed to the poor.

How is Boxing Day celebrated today?

Boxing Day is meant to be a time to spend with family or friends. Especially if you didn’t get the chance to see those people on Christmas Day.

People also celebrate by eating leftover turkey and watching sports.

What are Boxing Day sales?

Boxing day in Toronto's Eaton Centre

Boxing Day has also turned into a day where retailers slash prices on everything, from clothes to electronics, homeware and handbags. It is common in The UK, the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

According to the Christmas Day Trading Act, all large shops are banned from trading on Christmas Day in England and Wales, which causes them to see a drop in sales. Moreover, after everyone does their Christmas shopping, the demand goes down, as a result, capitalist countries wanted to rectify a lack of shopping by introducing sales and lowering their prices. For many stores, Boxing Day is one of the days of the year that brings in the greatest revenue. 

Boxing Day in the UAE

Boxing Day is not a public holiday over here and there are usually no sales going on. This year however, the Dubai Shopping Festival kicks off on December 26. People here also celebrate Boxing Day with brunch or foodie events. Looks like we will be celebrating after all.