No one is quite sure where Boxing Day got its start.
One possible origin is from metal boxes that were placed outside of churches during the Middle Ages. These boxes were for offerings to give to the poor on the Feast of St. Stephen, which is also celebrated on the 26th.
Another possible origin is from when wealthy English Lords would give their servants the day after Christmas off as a holiday. They would also give them a box with leftover food or even a present on this day.
The day is likely a combination of these traditions and others.
Boxing Day has nothing to do with the fighting sport of boxing, but rather is a day when gifts are given to people in the service industry like mail carriers, doormen, porters, and tradesmen.
It is celebrated the day after Christmas, December 26th
This day is a holiday in the UK and most other areas that were settled by the English except the United States. Other countries that celebrate the holiday include New Zealand, Australia, and Canada.
What do people do to celebrate?
The main thing people do to celebrate is to tip any service workers who have worked for them throughout the year such as postal workers, the paper boy, the milkman, and doormen.
The holiday is also a day to give to the poor. Some people gather gifts in Christmas boxes to give to poor children throughout the world.
In many countries Boxing Day has become a large shopping day. Just like Black Friday after Thanksgiving, Boxing Day is a day of big markdowns on products that stores were not able to sell for Christmas.
In Ireland the 26th is generally called St. Stephen's Day or the Day of the Wren.