Video:What is Boxing Day in Canada?with Omar Saad
Boxing Day in Canada is a time to celebrate the service of others, charitably give to those less fortunate, and enjoy the company of friends and family. Check out this video for a closer look at Boxing Day in CanadaSee Transcript
Transcript:What is Boxing Day in Canada?Hi, I'm Kaytie Sproul, here for About.com, and today we're going to take a look at Boxing Day in Canada. We'll examine its origins and traditions, as well as how and when it's celebrated.
How Did Boxing Day Originate in Canada?Boxing Day, known also as St. Stephen's Day, began in Great Britain and is celebrated in Canada, as well as other countries with British roots, like New Zealand and Australia. Occurring on the 26th of December, the tradition originated in medieval times and received its name from the custom of preparing and gifting boxes of food and other goods to poor families and the servant class the day after Christmas.
Boxing Day is About Charity in CanadaCharity and giving to those less fortunate is at the heart of Boxing Day tradition; it's therefore common for some celebrants to devote time and money to charitable causes during the holiday. The tradition of recognizing those who serve you throughout the year is also at the core of Boxing Day. Some people choose to give small gifts to their delivery men, mail carriers, and gardeners to name a few. It's also common for employers to give small gifts to their employees in recognition of Boxing Day.
Sports are a Part of the Boxing Day TraditionBoxing Day has grown into a major sporting holiday. Whether you're watching or taking part, chances are sports will somehow be involved in your Boxing Day celebration. The sports angle originated during the earlier days of the celebration back in England, when Boxing Day fox hunts were the tradition. In modern-day Canada, several key hockey tournaments, such as the Spengler Cup and the World Junior Hockey Championships, are common viewing on Boxing Day. For those who'd rather take part, a variety of winter sports are a common activity on the holiday.
Shopping and Feasting are Traditions of the Boxing Day HolidaySharing a meal with family and close friends helps to mark the Boxing Day tradition in Canada. While left-overs are common, many Canadian restaurants host Boxing Day feasts featuring a selection of roast meats. Like Christmas, it's a holiday that emphasizes camaraderie with friends and family.
Much like Black Friday in the United States, Boxing Day is one of Canada's biggest shopping days of the year. Packed malls and big box stores aren't unique to the U.S. Canada's Boxing Day sales are legendary, causing people to line up in the wee hours of the morning to get the deals they're looking for. It's even become common for some retailers to extend the sales as “Boxing Week Specials.”
With its medieval British origins, Canada's Boxing Day focuses on those who serve and the less fortunate. It also extends the fun and camaraderie of the Christmas holiday just a bit longer. Thanks for watching. To learn more, visit us on the web at About.com.