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Boxing Day, also known as the Feast of St. Stephen, is a secular holiday celebrated on the day after Christmas. December 26 is not only Santa Claus’ rest day but a public holiday in which every country has its own way of celebrating this festive event.
See the fact file below for more information on the Boxing Day or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Boxing Day worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN
- Historically known as the “Feast of St. Stephen,” Boxing Day falls on the 26th of December, the day after Christmas.
- The celebration of St. Stephen derives from his appointment by the Apostles as one of the seven deacons that tended to the poorer members of the church.
- He was responsible for almsgiving, which is the act of giving money or food to the poor.
- Being appointed as deacon brought his Christian faith and good reputation to the forefront of all church activities.
- However, St. Stephen became a target of people who were unwilling to be converted to Christianity, and was eventually arrested, banished from the community, and stoned to death.
- In some attestations, Boxing Day was when servants, postment, and people of similar occupations received a Christmas box – a gratuity given at Christmas to service workers for their contribution to the general public – filled with money or presents on the day immediately after Christmas to take home.
- Other stories about the origins of Boxing Day include that its name is a reference to holiday gifts, and that the name “Boxing Day” refers to the nautical tradition of sailors receiving a sealed box containing money on board for good luck – if the voyage was successful, the box was given to a priest who would then open it at Christmas. The contents were given to the poor and their families.
- The main feature that many origin stories have in common is that they involve giving gifts and money to the poor.
BOXING DAY AROUND THE WORLD
- Canada/ United States. Boxing Day is a public holiday in Texas, Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Kansas. In Canada, banks, government offices, and post offices are closed, as well as many independent stores. Boxing Day in North America is well-known for being a shopping holiday, although item returns are not allowed in many places due to the overwhelming amount of customers.
- Australia/New Zealand. Boxing Day is a federal holiday in Australia; however, in New Zealand, it is a statutory holiday. On statutory holidays, 1.5 times the salary and a lieu day is provided to employees who go to work. South Australia observes what is called “Proclamation Day.”
- China. In Hong Kong, Boxing Day is a public holiday. Government offices, post offices, and many other offices (including banks) are closed.
- Africa. Nigeria celebrates Boxing Day as a public holiday for working people or students. South Africa changed the name of Boxing Day to the “Day of Goodwill” in 1994. It is said that Keny (primarily Nairobi) becomes like a ghost town on Boxing Day, as many citizens are spending time visiting with family.
- United Kingdom. There was once a tradition of hunting wrens during Boxing Day; it was considered unlucky to kill wrens on any other day. It has also been a bank holiday in England since 1871. There is usually a full day of Premier League Football (soccer in North America) on Boxing Day.
- Boxing Day is primarily known around the world as a shopping holiday.
- Boxing Day sales are typical in the Commonwealth countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and some parts of Africa and Asia.
- Boxing Day has also become synonymous with sporting events, such as football (soccer), rugby, and swimming.
- In the United Kingdom, some people challenge themselves to an English Channel swim in the frigid temperatures.
- Many stores reduce their prices significantly to entice shoppers to spend more during the Christmas season.
- In some countries and cities, Boxing Day sales extend to “Boxing Week” in an effort to reduce their yearly stock in preparation for the new year’s arrival.
- Many retailers open their stores very early (sometimes as early as 4 a.m.) to draw people into their stores, resulting in long lines, long waits, and huge crowds.
- It is common for people to be injured as a result of overcrowding, falling over, tripping or being pushed.
- Many media outlets love covering Boxing Day sales, and they tend to interview people waiting in line, asking them about what they’re going to purchase and why they love Boxing Day.
- Some stores need to limit the amount of customers at a time, in order to avoid severe overcrowding and injuries.
- Several ice hockey games are scheduled for Boxing Day, including the IIHF World U20 Championships series.
- In some African Commonwealth nations, professional boxing contests are held on Boxing Day.
Boxing Day Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Boxing Day across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Boxing Day worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Boxing Day, also known as the Feast of St. Stephen, which is a secular holiday celebrated on the day after Christmas. December 26 is not only Santa Claus’ rest day but a public holiday in which every country has its own way of celebrating this festive event.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Boxing Day Facts
- Country Celebrations
- Boxing Day Crossword
- Boxing Day Quiz
- Completing Boxing Day Facts
- Boxing Day Word Search
- Which is the Better Deal?
- Boxing Day Acrostic
- Opinion Piece
- Coloring Page
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Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.