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What is Boxing Day?

What is Boxing Day exactly, what does it mean and who celebrates it?

I hope you have all recovered from the Christmas festivities! In Italy, the day after Christmas is an important religious holiday, Santo Stefano. But what do other countries do on December 26th? Well, in some countries, like the USA, it is a normal working day… In some European countries it is celebrated as a second Christmas day… But many countries know this day as ‘Boxing Day’.

So, what is Boxing Day and who celebrates it?

It originated in the United Kingdom and is also celebrated in many other Commonwealth countries, like Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

The name is thought to have come from the old British tradition of the rich giving their servants a ‘Christmas Box’ the day after Christmas. The servants would have to work on Christmas Day, so they were allowed to spend the day after with their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts and leftover food.

In more modern times, the name ‘Boxing Day’ has taken up another meaning; boxing up unwanted Christmas gifts and returning them to the shops!

In fact, in the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Boxing Day is well known as a shopping holiday. It is the time when shops hold the big sales, and for many shops this is the day of the year when they make the most money!

However, if shopping all day with large crowds doesn’t interest you, don’t worry; there’s always sport! In the UK, it is traditional for football and rugby leagues to hold matches on Boxing Day, and in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa, Test cricket matches are played.

Before World War 11, it was also common for working people, like milkmen or butchers, to travel around to their delivery places on December 26th to collect their Christmas box or tip. So, whether you want to have a big day out shopping, a quiet day at home in front of the TV watching a match, or even just eating leftover food from Christmas Day, Boxing Day has something for everyone!

New Year, New Resolution

What is a resolution, and where and why did it begin?

Hi everyone,

The New Year has begun, did you make any resolutions? In many western cultures making New Year’s resolutions is a long running tradition.

What is a resolution? It is simply a decision to make a change. This could be by doing something (eg. To start playing football) OR by not doing something (eg. To stop drinking coca-cola).

But where did it all begin?

Actually, resolutions are as old as the New Year tradition itself! So, just like the ancient Babylonians started the celebration of the New Year 4,000 years ago, they also started resolutions.

Ancient resolutions were a little different from our modern ones though. The Babylonians would make promises to their gods at the start of each year that they would return borrowed objects and pay their debts. The Romans carried on this tradition by making promises to the god Janus.

In modern times resolutions became less about making promises to God, and more about making promises to ourselves.

So, what are the most common resolutions that people make?

Hi everyone,

I'm Rebecca, and Australian living in Rome. I love art, history, food, and creative writing! I am blogging for Creative English in the hope to combine all these passions and share them with you all. Happy reading!

REBECCA ALLISON

Creative English Teacher