Boxing Day: no, not a day dedicated to celebrating Australia’s famous boxing kangaroo… This particular holiday, which takes place on 26 December, is observed by most countries in the Commonwealth (including Australia!).
Traditionally, Australians enjoy Boxing Day by relaxing with family and shopping for after-Christmas sales. Boxing day is also the start of the famous Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Sounds like fun, right?
So why do Aussies (and Brits, and Canadians, and New Zealanders…) get the day after Christmas off, too? There are several competing stories as to where Boxing Day originated. Some historians claim that Boxing Day came around because the day after Christmas was when servants, who had spent the entirety of Christmas day ensuring other people’s celebrations were running smoothly, would receive presents and leftovers (…in BOXES!!) from their bosses and spend time with their families. Others think that the collection boxes for the poor which were placed outside of churches during the holiday season led to the creation of the holiday. The contents of the boxes would be distributed to the poor the day after Christmas.
Regardless of where the tradition comes from, it’s nice to get an extra day off!
What are YOU doing this holiday season? If you’re looking for something fun to pass the time, why not watch some videos about studying in Australia or read student blogs? It’s entertaining AND educational!
Happy Holidays from the Embassy of Australia Education Team!