Boxing Day is a holiday that serves to remember the old practice of giving boxes on the day after Christmas. The practice of Boxing Day was first mentioned in English Member of Parliament Samuel Pepys’ diary entry from December 19th 1663, when he referred to “giving something to the boy’ box against Christmas”. The day after Christmas was traditionally a time when servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their employers, clients or masters. These Christmas boxes of food, money or presents served to thank the workers for the years of service. In the past, servants would be given the day off – having worked Christmas Day – to visit their families, taking with them the boxes from their masters.
Today, Boxing Day is usually associated with two things: shopping and eating Christmas dinner leftovers whilst watching TV. Stores generally offer large discounts and open very early. Boxing Day is a bank holiday in the UK and it is celebrated annually on December 26th. Some European countries, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands and Scandinavia celebrate the 26th of December as a Second Christmas Day but with much less shopping involved.