Boxing Day Public Holiday

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Boxing Day Public Holiday

December 26, 2022

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.

When is Boxing Day?

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.


December 26, 2022


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