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December 26th is Boxing Day. What’s that all about?

Boxing Day is celebrated across the UK and many Commonwealth countries on December 26th.  The name refers to a historical tradition of gift-giving, when servants and tradespeople would receive gifts from their superiors, known as a ‘Christmas box’. The tradition dates back to the middle ages when money and other gifts were given to those in need on the 26th of December.

In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland, it is called St. Stephen’s Day (Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren. In Canada, Germany, Poland, Scandinavia and the Netherlands it is a public holiday.

Aside from shopping for Boxing Day sales and eating Christmas leftovers, it is a traditional day of Sport in the UK.   It is also a noted day of sport for national soccer, rugby matches and horse racing events.  Locally, fun runs are organized to help work off the extra holiday pounds.

Boxing day hunting remains a popular tradition, despite the banning of fox hunting in 2004. The day is still the biggest of the year for most UK hunts, who now use scent drag trails rather than using live quarry.

What to Serve on Boxing Day

For the most part, you should have plenty of dishes remaining from Christmas and can “makeover” your turkey or ham.

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