What Boxing Day really means

By Standard Reporter | Friday, Dec 27th 2019 at 10:18
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After the usual hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas, Boxing Day is often a day when Kenyans take time to relax and to devour leftovers of the previous day.

More often than not, city streets are deserted as most people spend time with their families or just rest.

But what is the origin of Boxing Day?

It is important to note that the day has nothing to do with boxing so kindly put your gloves down.

Observed annually on December 26, records indicate that it was listed as a holiday in Britain in the 1830s where postmen, errand boys, and servants of various kinds expected to receive a Christmas box.

Some believe the name was derived from charity drives where boxes were used to collect money for the poor and placed in churches on Christmas day. They would be opened on the 26th.

Over time, the traditions have faded although some strictly adhere to opening gifts on Boxing day.

Historically, Boxing Day's post-Christmas sales have long made it one of the U.K.'s busiest shopping days of the year.

And while it still falls within the top five biggest shopping days of the year, the popularity of online shopping has reduced the overall spending people do on December 26.

In Ireland for instance, the day is also referred to as St Stephen’s Day in remembrance of the Saint who was stoned to death for following Christ.

In recent times, sports lovers and especially fans of the English Premier League, have been treated to a number of back to back matches.

Most leagues break for Christmas and resume in the New Year but the EPL has a tradition of having matches on Boxing day where fans throng stadiums and are treated to a flurry of matches within a week.

It is often considered the most crucial time in the EPL as most teams that sit top of the league when the year ends end up lifting the title at the end of the campaign.

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