Question time: Why is December 26 called Boxing Day?

Wissen Sie, warum der 26. Dezember in englischsprachigen Ländern als „Boxing Day“ bezeichnet wird? Unser Redakteur verrät es Ihnen! Lesen Sie hier einen Auszug aus der Read On über die Herkunft des Ausdrucks.

Why is December 26 called Boxing Day?

By John Bilstein

Boxing Day is the name of the day after Christmas in some parts of the English-speaking world. This name has nothing to do with the sport boxing, the fistfight contest, but for both the day and the sport, the names probably have something to do with actual boxes.

The sport boxing is done with closed hands, i.e. fists. A fist is called a „pyx“ in Greek which is the same word Greek uses for a closed wooden container, aka, a box. A box, or perhaps boxes, may also be the reason why the day after Christmas is called Boxing Day.

On December 26th, boxes containing gifts were traditionally given to service providers like postal workers, gardeners and servants in England. And in churches throughout the country, it is also the day when boxes of food, called hampers, are given to the needy. According to BBC, this tradition has been taking place in England since the days of Queen Victoria and is upheld in churches throughout Britain even now.

(…)

Vocabulary

fistfight Faustkampf — wooden container Behälter aus Holz — aka (also known as) sonst genannt — perhaps vielleicht — to contain s.th. etw. enthalten — Gift Geschenk — service provider Dienstleister(in) — postalisch worker Postangestellte(r) — servant Diener(in) — according to laut — to take place geschehen — to uphold pflegen — throughout überall