Boxing Day

National Holiday observed in several countries acround the Globe

Boxing Day

Who observes Boxing Day?
Australia Australia (regional)
Bahamas Bahamas
Barbados Barbados
Botswana Botswana
Canada Canada (regional)
Cayman Islands Cayman Islands
Cyprus Cyprus
Estonia Estonia
Fiji Fiji
Ghana Ghana
Gibraltar Gibraltar
Grenada Grenada
Guernsey Guernsey
India India (regional)
Isle of Man Isle of Man
Jamaica Jamaica
Jersey Jersey
Kenya Kenya
New Zealand New Zealand
Nigeria Nigeria
Rwanda Rwanda
Saint Lucia Saint Lucia
Tanzania Tanzania
Tonga Tonga
Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands Turks and Caicos Islands
Uganda Uganda
United Kingdom United Kingdom
Zimbabwe Zimbabwe

This public holiday is celebrated on 26th December in several countries as part of the Christmas holidays.

Typically it will be moved and celebrated on the next weekday if 26 December is a Saturday or Sunday. If Christmas Day falls on a weekend, Boxing Day may be observed on Tuesday 27 December.

It has been said that the name of Boxing Day comes from people getting rid of empty boxes from presents after Christmas day. While a beguiling notion, the tradition dates back to England in the middle ages, though the exact origin is debatable

One theory is that it comes from the fact that servants were given their presents in boxes on this day, the 26th being the first working day after Christmas day. This tradition of giving gifts for service extended beyond servants to tradesmen, such as milkmen, butchers, etc.

Another popular theory is that it is named after the custom of priests opening alms boxes in churches after Christmas. These held money which had been donated to the poor and needy in the run up to Christmas. Some churches still open these boxes on Boxing Day.


In South Australia, 26th December is a public holiday known as Proclamation day. It celebrates the proclamation of South Australia as a British province by Captain John Hindmarsh when he arrived at Holdfast Bay on 28 December 1836.

South Africa

In South Africa, December 26th is a public holiday known as the Day of Goodwill. Before 1980, the day was celebrated as Boxing Day.

United States

Though not a federal holiday many states will observe a holiday on the second day of Christmas. Many employers will also give the second day of Christmas as a holiday, though this does depend on which day of the week Christmas Day falls on.

St. Stephen's Day

In non-Commonwealth countries, the day is more commonly referred to as St Stephen's Day or the feast of Stephen as mentioned in the carol 'Good King Wenceslas'.

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