Boxing Day is a public holiday that is celebrated every year in the 26th of December in the United Kingdom and in all other countries that were British colonies. The bank holiday means that the holiday can be celebrated on that day or two days later. Boxing Day is an additional day of Christmas day in other countries like Scotland and the United States. Other countries that celebrate the Saint Stephen as the second day of Christmas are Holland, Germany, Poland and Belgium, among others.
Origins of Santo Stefano
Although there is no definitive origin for the naming of Boxing Day, there are several theories about how this day was called.In Britain, servants had to wait for their employers on Christmas day; then the next day they were allowed to visit their families and their friends. The day after Christmas, wealthy homeowners would give their employees Christmas boxes containing gifts, money and leftover food to bring to their families as a way to reward them for the work they had done throughout the year.
In Europe, it was also customary to collect offers and donations for the poor in the days after Christmas. This could have happened from the feast of Saint Stephen, celebrated on December 10 by the Western Church, during which the boxes are left outside the churches to collect offerings.
Events of Santo Stefano and Polemica
People celebrate St. Stephen with various events in different countries of the world, on condition that the government declares that that day is a public holiday.
Most people spend this day mainly with family and friends, especially those who were absent on Christmas Day. The best football clubs and rugby championships also play on this day, for example in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In other countries like the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, this day is considered a day for shopping. Wholesalers and retailers open their stores very early in the morning. The prices of the goods are reduced on that day, and the stock is stored in bulk because many people come to buy different items.
Not everyone believes that Boxing Day should be dedicated to shopping, and there are active campaigns to keep the shops closed on Boxing Day. A petition was handed over to British Prime Minister Theresa May in 2016 to keep all stores closed on Holy Day Stefano so that the sellers can also relax and celebrate the holidays. The 235,000 signatures were collected before the government rejected the petition. The government thought that it was merchants who decided whether to rest on Boxing Day or embark on their commercial work. However, buyers conducted a 2016 survey that showed that 84% felt that shops should be closed to give free staff for at least two days.