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Boxing Day is a holiday that falls on the day following Christmas Day, concurrent with the Catholic holiday Saint Stephen’s Day.
Originating in Great Britain and celebrated in former member states of the British Empire, Boxing Day is observed as a public holiday in many countries, including Aotearoa New Zealand. The public holiday is movable and will fall on the 27th of 28th of December in years when Boxing Day proper falls on the weekend.
Boxing Day is thought to have originated as a holiday for giving gifts to the poor, with the name possibly deriving from the alms box found in the entrance of churches. Another possible origin of the name is the term “Christmas Box”, which dates as far back as the 17th century and refers to a box of gifts and leftover food given to servants and tradesmen on the first weekday after Christmas Day.
In modern times Boxing Day has become a notable shopping day, with sales and massive discounted prices in shops comparable to Black Friday in the USA.
Boxing Day has also become a traditional day for big sporting events, with notable football and rugby matches, cricket tests, and horse races taking place.
Boxing Day is the day following Christmas Day and falls on the 26th of December each year.
Boxing Day as a public holiday can fall on the 27th or 28th of December in years when the 26th falls on the weekend.