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The True Meaning of Boxing Day

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Published: 26th of December, 2023 by Patrick Carpen

Last updated: December 26, 2023 at 13:42 pm

On the 26th of December each year, Guyanese celebrate Boxing Day. It is a National Holiday. The origin and significance of Boxing Day is not clear to most Guyanese. Some joke that they will box someone today. Some say it is a day to open the boxes of gifts they received on Christmas Day, and some say it’s a day to give and receive lots of gifts in boxes.

The tradition has its roots in ancient colonial times and British history whereby the upper class boxed up gifts, money, and even left over food from Christmas Day and distributed it to the poorer of society. Employers would also box up gifts and money and give to household servants who had to work on December 25th. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, the holiday changed its form slightly over time as the older customs of giving boxes of gifts, money, and food to the poor became somewhat outdated or less practiced. In Britain nowadays, Boxing Day is associated with shopping and sporting events.

In Guyana, all businesses are closed for Boxing Day on December 26th. Although the original tradition of Boxing Day is not practiced by the general Guyanese population, the Holiday is still super convenient for Guyanese who just want an extra holiday to unwind after a hard Christmas Day of merriment which leaves everyone exhausted and disarranged.

So, how do you spend Boxing Day? Tell us in the comments.

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