BOXING DAY: Today is Boxing Day. Traditionally, it is a day of giving to those in need. However, it is also a popular shopping day in today’s society. Boxing Day is a national holiday in the United Kingdom.
The name boxing day came from the tradition of collecting “Christmas boxes” of money the first weekday after Christmas. It is also related to the tradition of allowing servants to have Dec. 26 off, since they were busy serving their masters on Christmas Day.
Employers typically gave the servants gifts, food or money to take home with them, which contributed to the holiday’s origins.
While the day is traditionally Dec. 26, it is understood that the corresponding bank holiday or public holiday may be a weekday in years like 2020, when the date falls on a Saturday.
In the United Kingdom, Boxing Day has been a bank holiday since 1971, while in Scotland the holiday became recognized in 1974.
Boxing Day is also celebrated in Australia, in all but the province of South Australia. There, the day is called Proclamation Day and is celebrated the first weekday after Christmas Day.
TODAY: Today has several recognized “holiday” designations. It is National Thank You Day, National Candy Cane Day and National Whiner’s Day.
In Slovenia, it is National Independence and Unity Day, and in the Solomon Islands, today is a National Day of Thanksgiving.
LOOKING BACK: In an interesting nod to historic events that took place on December 26, in 1862 four nuns became the first female nurses to serve on a US hospital ship, when they offered their services on the USS Red Rover.
Meanwhile, in 1892, Marie Curie and husband Pierre Curie announced to the world they had isolated radium.