Not enough of Christmas? Fret not, the festive celebration still goes on until the end of Boxing Day. Although typically it is celebrated on 26th Dec but as it falls on a weekend this year, the Boxing Day is extended to 28 Dec in some regions. Yay! More days for relaxation and distance gift exchanging!

However, have you ever wonder why is it called Boxing days? I asked our favourite teacher, Mr Google and found a few interesting traditions.

The different types of Boxing Days

  1. Church Donation’s Box – It was mentioned that Boxing Day was named as such, because the Church Donations boxes were opened one day after Christmas. The box was setup pre-Christmas during the advent calendar period to receive donations for the poor. On this day after Christmas, all donations collected in the donation boxes are then distributed to the poor.
  2. St Stephen’s – Boxing Days are also known as St Stephens Days in some religion. They hold a feast to remember St Stephen who are known for serving the poor.
  3. Wren’s Day – A much unknown tradition celebrated in Ireland on Boxing Day is the Wren’s Day. Wren are like small birds. They were traditionally hunted by wren boy and carried around while they go house to house asking for small money, food or drinks. If it wasn’t given, they will bury the wren near the house which is thought to bring back luck. The tradition survived but people now substitute by dressing in straw uniform shaped like a bird to celebrate this day.

4. Middle age British Empire – there was a tradition observed that one day after Christmas Day, people will hand out Christmas Boxes to thank the trade man, servant and service staff for a good service done for the year. The box will contain a small amount of money or food. Staffs are also given a leave during this working day to visit their family. 

For most of us in Singapore, Boxing Day only mean extended sales and shopping spree, however I think we can learn something from these traditions. Extend the spirit of gratitude and gifting to thanks those service provider in our society who are contributing in our daily life. The bus driver, the kopi shop uncle, the food delivery man, hawkers, cleaners, the migrant workers and … 

Share a small snacks or just a friendly gestures on this day. Happy Boxing Day

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