The 26th of December is known in Britain as Boxing Day. There are several theories regarding the origin of the name, but it's probably called so because from remote times, servants and other workers used to receive boxes full of food and gifts as a present for the Chistmas period.
Boxing day is also St. Stephen's Day (which is how this festivity is known in Ireland), and legend has it, it was on this day when “Good King Wenceslas” went out to help a poor peasant. You can hear the story of this Bohemian saint, who was not a king but a duke, in this popular Christmas carol.
Today, many employers give their employees a Christmas bonus that can be money, gifts or even a vacation-type incentive. Besides, householders give some money or gifts to the tradesmen that regularly visit the house, such as the milkman or the dustman.
Traditionally, families get together on Boxing Day to watch sports, play board games or even go out for a walk in the countryside if the weather is not too wet. It's also a day devoted to outdoor sports and fox hunting (though it's now forbidden to kill the fox in Scotland, England and Wales, there are some places where this tradition is still alive).
|'Vale of Clettwr Hunt'|
Image in Flickrcc:http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2721/4215856346_8171ac308d.jpg
In recent years, people tend to go shopping on this day because it's the opening of the sales period and there are big discounts in clothes, shoes or electrical items, and it's becoming traditional to see big crowds gathering at the entrance of department stores waiting for the doors to open and pushing and fighting to get the best offers.
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Don't get too carried away by the sales!