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Celebrate Boxing Day today

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December 26 is Boxing Day. It has nothing to do with pugilism, the sport of hand boxing. Boxing Day celebrations in some from date back at least to feudal times, possibly even to ancient Roman times.

The idea is a time to give to those less fortunate. Ancient Romans made clay boxes with only a small slit in the top for coins. The only way to remove the coins was to break the box, eliminating pilfering. People would drop coins into the boxes all year, then the day after Christmas, the box would be broken open, thus the name Boxing Day. The contents would be distributed among employees or given to charitable causes.

Feudal legends say that on the day after Christmas, the lords of the land would gather useful items and gifts together to distribute among the serfs to use the following year. As each family received a box of goods, such as grain, tools and clothing, the tradition of Boxing Day emerged. Yet another traditional origin tells that the day after Christmas was the day that servants received the day off, and wealthy employers packaged up some of the leftover food from the previous day?s feast in boxes for servants to take home.

Today Boxing Day is a fun holiday for many- a reason to continue the Christmas festivities one more day. It is also an excuse to catch the after Christmas sales in many countries and cities, as stores offer the stock not picked up for Christmas at deep discounts.

Boxing Day is a bank or public holiday and is celebrated primarily in Great Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, as well as many British commonwealths. INthese countries, the Christmas season consists of Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. If Christmas falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, Boxing Day is celebrated on the following Monday or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws.

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