Religious Holidays

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Hermes (May 04, 2010, 16:27:26 PM):
Where does the name "boxing day" come from? Is it because you throw away all the boxes in which the presents came? I believe they have now renamed it day of Goodwill, since Dingaan's day has got another name.
mdg (May 04, 2010, 16:34:04 PM):
Quote from: Hermes
Where does the name "boxing day" come from?

This is the day when all the relatives with hangovers start arguing about the day before - hence boxing day. ;D
GCG (May 04, 2010, 16:34:15 PM):
i used to know, hang on...lemme google....

We have to go back to the early seventeenth century to find the basis for the name. The term Christmas box appeared about then for an earthenware box, something like a piggy bank, which apprentices took around at Christmas to collect money. When it was full, or the round complete, the box was broken and the money distributed among the company.

By the eighteenth century, Christmas box had become a figurative term for any seasonal gift or charity.

Some time after the beginning of the nineteenth century, the word box of Christmas box shifted to refer to the day after Christmas day. The first recorded use of Boxing Day for the 26th December is in 1833.

The traditional recorded celebration of Boxing Day has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions. The European tradition has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown and there are some claims that it goes back to the late Roman/early Christian era; metal boxes were placed outside churches used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen.[4] In the United Kingdom it certainly became a custom of the nineteenth century Victorians for tradesmen to collect their "Christmas boxes" or gifts in return for good and reliable service throughout the year on the day after Christmas.[5] However, the exact etymology of the term "Boxing" is unclear, with several competing theories, none of which is definitively true.[6] Another possibility is that the name derives from an old English tradition: in exchange for ensuring that wealthy landowners' Christmases ran smoothly, their servants were allowed to take the 26th off to visit their families. The employers gave each servant a box containing gifts and bonuses (and sometimes leftover food). In addition, around the 1800s, churches opened their alms boxes (boxes where people place monetary donations) and distributed the contents to the poor.

Hermes (May 04, 2010, 18:43:51 PM):
Thank Goth,
I suspected it had something to do with Xmas boxes, though mdg's explanation better clarifies why the name had to be changed to day of Goodwill.


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