Boxing Day in Australia in 2024

Boxing Day in Australia in 2024
  How long until Boxing Day?
Boxing Day
  Dates of Boxing Day in Australia
2025 Dec 26
ACTFri, Dec 26Regional Holiday
New South WalesFri, Dec 26Regional Holiday
Northern TerritoryFri, Dec 26Regional Holiday
QueenslandFri, Dec 26Regional Holiday
TasmaniaFri, Dec 26Regional Holiday
VictoriaFri, Dec 26Regional Holiday
Western AustraliaFri, Dec 26Regional Holiday
2024 Dec 26
ACTThu, Dec 26Regional Holiday
New South WalesThu, Dec 26Regional Holiday
Northern TerritoryThu, Dec 26Regional Holiday
QueenslandThu, Dec 26Regional Holiday
TasmaniaThu, Dec 26Regional Holiday
VictoriaThu, Dec 26Regional Holiday
Western AustraliaThu, Dec 26Regional Holiday
2023 Dec 26
ACTTue, Dec 26Regional Holiday
New South WalesTue, Dec 26Regional Holiday
Northern TerritoryTue, Dec 26Regional Holiday
QueenslandTue, Dec 26Regional Holiday
TasmaniaTue, Dec 26Regional Holiday
VictoriaTue, Dec 26Regional Holiday
Western AustraliaTue, Dec 26Regional Holiday
2022 Dec 26
ACTMon, Dec 26Regional Holiday
New South WalesMon, Dec 26Regional Holiday
Northern TerritoryMon, Dec 26Regional Holiday
QueenslandMon, Dec 26Regional Holiday
TasmaniaMon, Dec 26Regional Holiday
VictoriaMon, Dec 26Regional Holiday
Western AustraliaMon, Dec 26Regional Holiday
2021 Dec 26, Dec 28
ACTTue, Dec 28Regional Holiday (in lieu)
New South WalesTue, Dec 28Regional Holiday (in lieu)
Northern TerritoryTue, Dec 28Regional Holiday (in lieu)
QueenslandTue, Dec 28Regional Holiday (in lieu)
TasmaniaTue, Dec 28Regional Holiday (in lieu)
VictoriaTue, Dec 28Regional Holiday (in lieu)
Western AustraliaTue, Dec 28Regional Holiday (in lieu)
ACTSun, Dec 26Regional Holiday
New South WalesSun, Dec 26Regional Holiday
Northern TerritorySun, Dec 26Regional Holiday
QueenslandSun, Dec 26Regional Holiday
VictoriaSun, Dec 26Regional Holiday
Western AustraliaSun, Dec 26Regional Holiday

The second day of Christmas is known as Boxing Day or St. Stephens Day. St Stephen was the first Christian martyr.

  Boxing Day in other countries
Boxing Day internationally
  Which regions observe Boxing Day in 2024?
National Holiday Regional Holiday Not a public holiday Govt Holiday
Related holidays

When is Boxing Day?

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

Typically it will be moved and celebrated on the next working day if December 26th is a Saturday or Sunday.

Traditions of Boxing Day

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.

The name certainly has stronger ties to the Victorian era: it was first included in the Oxford English Dictionary in the 1830s and became a bank holiday in 1871.

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.

Samuel Pepys mentions the practice in a diary entry from December 19th 1663: "Thence by coach to my shoemaker’s and paid all there, and gave something to the boys’ box against Christmas."

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

Boxing day is not a tradition in the United States, so that indicates that December 26th didn't become observed as such until the late 18th century, otherwise, it would have been imported to the Americas by settlers from England.

United Kingdom

Boxing Day has been a Bank Holiday in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland since 1871. Having this status during the height of the British Empire explains why this holiday is still celebrated in many Commonwealth countries.

Hunts were a Boxing Day tradition but the 2004 ban on foxhunting put an end to all that. However, many people still regularly turn out to support hunting. Certain modified forms of hunting foxes with hounds are still within the law and several Boxing Day meets take place every year.

Boxing Day is also a time when the British show their eccentricity by taking part in all kinds of silly activities. These include bizarre traditions such as swimming the icy cold English Channel, fun runs and charity events. 

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'.

Boxing Day Traditions in Australia

Every year the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - the world's biggest annual yacht race - begins in Australia on Boxing Day. The race covers 630 nautical miles and includes yachts from 35 to 100ft. A race record was set in 2017 when LDV Comanche made the crossing in one day, nine hours, 15 minutes and 24 seconds.

The Boxing Day test match is also held in Australia.

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