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Boxing Day

Boxing Day 2024, Happy Boxing Day, History, Facts and Quotes

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Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated on the 26th of December, the day after Christmas. It originated in the United Kingdom and is observed in several Commonwealth nations. Initially, it was a day to donate gifts to those in need, but it has evolved into a day of shopping for deals and enjoying various festivities. The name “Boxing Day” has different origins, with some associating it with the opening of alms boxes in churches for donations to the poor, while others believe it came from employers giving boxes of gifts to employees after Christmas. Today, Boxing Day is marked by gatherings, relaxation, attending sporting events, and shopping for deals. Traditional foods include baked ham, pease pudding, and mince pies. This holiday is celebrated in countries like England, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, and South Africa.

What are some traditional Boxing Day activities?

Some traditional Boxing Day activities include:

  1. Sporting Events: Many people observe Boxing Day by taking in a sporting event such as horse racing or a football game. Gather a group of friends and spend the day together cheering on your favorite team.
  2. Polar Bear Plunge: Some prefer to participate in the annual plunge into the freezing English Channel along with members of various swimming clubs. This daring event raises money for a range of charities.
  3. Shopping Deals: Boxing Day is a day filled with great deals and bargains for shoppers. Many make Boxing Day sales a shopping tradition.
  4. Socializing: Boxing Day is also marked by sporting events such as horse racing or football, with the United Kingdom hosting a full day of Premier League games.
  5. Helping the Less Fortunate: Another popular tradition is giving to those who are less fortunate. For instance, donating money to a local food bank or donating to a local charity.
  6. Spending Time with Family: Some families opt for a more relaxed celebration at home, inviting loved ones over to enjoy holiday leftovers and set up a buffet of festive treats.
  7. Junkanoo Festival: In the Bahamas, Boxing Day is celebrated with a festival called Junkanoo, which has origins dating back to the 17th century.
  8. Giving to Animals: Animal shelters often need donations such as pet food, litter, blankets, and toys. Ask your local shelter what your family can do to help.
  9. Sending Flowers or Chocolates: Sending a bouquet of flowers or a box of chocolates to a family member, friend, or someone else your children cares about can brighten their day and make the holiday season a little more magical.
  10. Enjoying Holiday Leftovers: Inviting family and friends over is a common tradition on this day, where people enjoy their presents from Christmas and set up a buffet filled with holiday leftovers.

What is the origin of Boxing Day?

Boxing Day, celebrated on December 26th, has origins that combine traditions of charity and giving with the festive atmosphere of the Christmas season. While the exact source remains a little unclear, several historical threads contribute to its story:

Gift-giving to the less fortunate: The term “boxing” most likely refers to the boxes filled with gifts, money, or leftovers that wealthy families traditionally gave to servants, tradespeople, and the poor on the day after Christmas. This practice dates back centuries, possibly linked to the alms boxes placed in churches for collecting donations to the needy.

A day off for servants: Since servants typically worked on Christmas Day, Boxing Day served as a day off for them to visit their families. Employers would often present them with a “Christmas box” as a token of appreciation for their service.

Evolution of the tradition: Over time, the focus of Boxing Day shifted from charity to a more general celebration. Today, it’s observed in various countries, particularly former British colonies like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with customs like:

Enjoying leftover Christmas meals with family and friends.

Participating in sporting events, especially football (soccer) matches.

Engaging in post-Christmas sales and shopping.

While the commercial aspect of Boxing Day has become prominent in recent times, it’s important to remember its historical roots as a day of generosity and appreciation.

What are some popular Boxing Day dishes?

Since Boxing Day traditionally involved utilizing leftovers from the Christmas feast, popular dishes often involve creative ways to repurpose those leftovers. Here are some of the most popular Boxing Day dishes:

Boxing Day rolls: These savory pastries are filled with leftover sausage meat, onions, and herbs, and are a delicious way to use up leftover sausages and stuffing.

Boxing Day rolls


Bubble and squeak: This dish is made with mashed potatoes, leftover vegetables like Brussels sprouts and cabbage, and sometimes leftover meat like ham or bacon. It’s a hearty and comforting meal that’s perfect for a cold winter day.

Bubble and squeak


Curried leftover turkey: Leftover turkey can be transformed into a delicious curry with a creamy coconut sauce and your favorite vegetables. This is a great way to add some variety to your Boxing Day leftovers.

Curried leftover turkey


Shepherd’s pie: This traditional British dish is made with leftover ground lamb or mutton, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. It’s a hearty and filling meal that’s perfect for a cold winter day.

Shepherd's pie


Christmas pudding bread and butter pudding: This dessert is made with leftover Christmas pudding, bread, butter, eggs, and milk. It’s a rich and decadent way to end your Boxing Day feast.

Christmas pudding bread and butter pudding


These are just a few ideas for popular Boxing Day dishes. With a little creativity, you can easily turn your leftover Christmas feast into delicious and satisfying meals for the day after.

Some other popular Boxing Day dishes include:

1. Turkey sandwich
2. Chicken and ham pie
3. Honey-glazed roast gammon
4. Beetroot and gin-cured salmon
5. Posh sausage roll
6. Ultimate Boxing Day stacked sandwich
7. Christmas lamingtons
8. Sage and honey butter roasted chestnuts
9. Glazed cocktail sausages
10. Sausage twist
11. Barwheys savory biscuits
12. Leftover turkey fricassee
13. Brussels sprout slaw
14. Bang bang turkey noodle salad
15. Best ever Christmas leftovers sandwich
16. Apple crumble trifle
17. Comté & rosemary shortbread
18. Ham & cheese croissants
19. Gluten-free pavlova meringue log
20. Smoked salmon grazing wreath
21. Hot honey-glazed gammon
22. Broccoli quiche
23. Croissant mincemeat sandwich
24. Cheesy stuffed pancakes
25. Veg peel fritters
26. Christmas lasagna
27. Mince pie cheesecake
28. Air-fryer clementine & chilli halloumi skewers
29. Christmas nachos
30. Triple-cheese croquettes with cranberry sauce
31. Sage, bacon & parsnip linguine
32. Roast ham & crackling
33. Winter panzanella

These dishes often feature leftover ingredients from Christmas dinner, such as turkey, ham, and roast vegetables, and can be served as sandwiches, pies, or as part of a buffet spread.

What are some Boxing Day gift ideas?

While Boxing Day traditionally involved giving to those less fortunate, today it’s also become a popular day for gift-giving among friends and family. Here are some thoughtful Boxing Day gift ideas for your loved ones:

For the self-care enthusiast:

  • A luxurious bathrobe and slippers set: This will help them relax and unwind after the holiday hustle and bustle.
  • A subscription box for their favorite self-care products: This could include anything from skincare items to bath bombs to aromatherapy candles.
  • A gift certificate for a massage or spa treatment: This is a great way for them to truly pamper themselves.

For the techie:

For the homebody:

For the foodie:

For the experience seeker:

No matter what your budget is, there’s sure to be a perfect Boxing Day gift for everyone on your list. Remember, the most important thing is to choose a gift that shows you care.



We are a team of writers, researchers, and editors who are passionate about helping others live their best lives. We believe that life is a beautiful gift. We try to live our lives to the fullest and enjoy every moment. We are always learning and growing, and we cherish the relationships we have with our family and friends.

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