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BOXING DAY

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BOXING DAY

Postby Slava » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:32 pm

The GWotD 12/26/12:

Dr. Goodword wrote:• Boxing Day •

Pronunciation: bahk-sing day • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun phrase

Meaning: No, it isn't a day we traditionally get into the ring, though children overjoyed at the bounty of Christmas might have gotten a boxing of the ears in days past. It is the first weekday following Christmas, the traditional day for giving gifts to servants and employees in the English-speaking world.

Notes: Throughout the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada December 26 is still an official holiday. If the day after Christmas is Saturday or Sunday, Boxing Day is the following Monday.

In Play: Boxing Day is also known as the Feast of St. Stephen, named for the first Christian martyr. It originated in 19th century England under Queen Victoria, when it was the day "on which postmen, errand boys, and servants of various kinds received a Christmas box of contributions from those whom they serve," in the words of Charles Dickens. If you come from one of the unfortunate English-speaking countries that does not recognize Boxing Day, just remember that it comes right after "unboxing" day, Christmas.

Word History: Boxing Day is probably the day after Christmas because servants often worked on Christmas. It was called "Boxing Day" because it was the day when a box was filled with Christmas gifts and delivered to service providers. (We hope that our old friend Grogie of the Alpha Agora has had another wonderful holiday as a reward for suggesting today's very topical, seasonal phrase several years ago.)
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Re: BOXING DAY

Postby Philip Hudson » Thu Dec 27, 2012 3:50 pm

Slava: Thanks for moving these Good Words to the discussion list.
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Re: BOXING DAY

Postby Philip Hudson » Sat Dec 29, 2012 2:47 am

Boxing day seems so "mandarin-coolie" to me. Throw some scraps to the underlings. I remember the orphans at the orphanage where I did tutoring were always insulted to get Halloween, Christmas, and Easter candy after the season was over. Nevertheless they ate the candy and shared it with me. I guess I was an underling to the underlings in those days.
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Re: BOXING DAY

Postby LukeJavan8 » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:14 pm

I've always felt it was something left over from colonial
days when servants stood behind the family and the
Christmas banquet and poured wine, served more food
etc. But it was the era, would love to know how it
is celebrated today in more enlightened countries like
Canada where it is a legal holiday.
-----please, draw me a sheep-----
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Re: BOXING DAY

Postby Philip Hudson » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:32 am

Christmas, and so probably Boxing Day, was prohibited in Colonial New England at times. The Southern Colonists were more tolerant. My iconoclastic mother was very much against Christmas, devout Christian though she was. She had Biblical quotations to support her position. She believed words, spoken or sung, were the only legitimate Christian art form. My iconoclastic views, though different from my mother’s, were inspired by her.
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Re: BOXING DAY

Postby call_copse » Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:05 am

Servants not really being common these days, Boxing Day in the UK tends to be about the sport especially festive football fixtures. All the stadiums are full for these ones - I'll always lay on tickets to go down if Saints are playing at home. (Away is too much like hard work then!)

One minor adjunct to the article - I'd say that at least in the UK Boxing Day is always the day after Christmas. The Boxing Day holiday may be belated if Boxing Day is on the weekend.
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