News

Boxing Day origins from a middle ages celebration

Ainslee Hunter box's up some christmas gear on boxing day Photo: Blainey Woodham / Daily News
Ainslee Hunter box's up some christmas gear on boxing day Photo: Blainey Woodham / Daily News Blainey Woodham

ALTHOUGH Boxing Day may allude to rubbish left over from Christmas presents, or pugilistic punch-ons with stressed out family, its real origin is often overlooked.

There's lots of theories and folklores regarding the day after Christmas, but most commonly it's thought to have been carried on from St Stephen's Day in the Middle Ages.

The day was set aside to give gifts to the 'lower' echelons of British society, and fill boxes with money and presents for tradesman who had provided services throughout the year.

Although this is how Boxing Day became popular in our society, its origins are thought to date back to the late Roman era when Christians would leave a metal collection box outside of churches for the Feast of Saint Stephen.

Samuel Pepys was a Member of Parliament and Naval Administrator in the 1600's and wrote in his diary about the tradition of giving servants presents on Boxing Day, and collecting funds for helpful tradesman.

Servants were allowed to visit family after providing for the rich on Christmas Day, and were given gifts, bonuses and leftover food to take home.

Today for most Australians Boxing Day represents nursing a ridiculously full tummy, cleaning up mountains of wrapping paper and a visit to the shops to bag some bargains or return dodgy gifts.

Fans on our Facebook page had their own plans for Boxing Day.

Louanne King said she'd be relaxing and recovering from a big Christmas Day while Anthony Joyce seemed quite keen for the Boxing Day Cricket test.

Nathan Eyres said his definition of the day was "Corporate consumption (with a smile)."

Many Australians probably don't know that South Australia doesn't celebrate Boxing Day and instead holds its own Proclamation Day.

Formal celebrations commence on December 28, but Proclamation Day is held on the first working day after Christmas which usually falls on December 26.

This marks the day that South Australia was officially declared a British province in 1836.

If you've got your own Boxing Day tradition let us know in the comments section below.

Topics:  boxing day, christmas, community, public holiday




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Workmates credited with saving man from certain death

THANK YOU: Bruce O'Grady in the centre with (clockwise from left) Trent Court, Chris Aiken, Dale Ward and Scott Blackwell.

BRUCE O’Grady does not remember the morning of January 25, 2016.

Multi-million dollar upgrade for Redbank Plains Rd

Cr Sheila Ireland, Cr Kerry Silver and Cr Cheryl Bromage at the new intersection upgrade of Redbank Plains Road and Cedar Rd.

Cheryl Bromage delivers big infrastructure project for city

Victim's life changed forever after horror crash

Samantha Green has been confined to a wheelchair since a car crash in January, 2015. Here she is outside Ipswich Courthouse with her mother Margaret Stroud.

She endured a nine kilometre ride of terror

Latest deals and offers

Man thanks colleagues for saving his life after forklift incident

Bruce O'Grady returned to his Wulkuraka workplace on Thursday to thank his workmates that saved his life after a workplace accident in January. (clockwise from left) Trent Court, Chris Aiken, Dale Ward and Scott Blackwell.

Ipswich paramedics have praised the workplace health and safety focus of a local...

RACQ releases SE Qld's worst choke points

Paul Turner, RACQ

Paul Turner from RACQ talks about our worst roads at peak time.

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Demand for acreage lots pushes up property prices

Property values in Cooroy have increased 25%

Property values jump in Cooroy and Peachester.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances