A三级成人视频s family gather around the dinner table on Christmas Day, there are some things we can all count on: poor jokes from crackers will be read out, new Christmas jumpers will be worn, and plans for the coming days will start to be put in place.
Boxing Day is sure to be a topic. Do people want to go for a walk or tackle the post-Christmas sales? Will there be enough leftovers for cold turkey and chips for lunch? And where does the name 'Boxing Day' come from, anyway?
三级成人视频No one can ever agree. Here are the most popular and likely origins, as well as how the day is celebrated in the UK and around the world.
When is Boxing Day, again?
三级成人视频The bank holiday falls on December 26th every year and is primarily observed in the UK and Ireland. If the day after Christmas falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the following Monday is designated as the official public holiday; this year, Boxing Day falls on a Thursday.
December 26th is also the feast day of Saint Stephen, the patron saint of horses, which is why Boxing Day has come to be associated with horse racing and fox hunting.
Why is it called Boxing Day?
Some say the day's name is linked to boxing matches which were often held on December 26th - however there are other suggestions which are much more likely.
The name certainly has Victorian roots: it was first included in the Oxford English Dictionary in the 1830s and became a bank holiday in 1871.
During the Victorian era, churches often displayed a box into which their parishioners put in their donations.
三级成人视频British servants to the wealthy in the 19th century were given time off to visit their families as their services had been required for the Christmas Day celebrations of their employers. They were therefore allowed the following day for their own observance of the holiday; each servant would be handed a box to take home, containing gifts, bonuses and sometimes leftover food.
三级成人视频Others say the origins of Boxing Day's name lie in December 26th's other British moniker: Saint Stephen's Day. Metal boxes are said to have been placed outside churches in the Middle Ages to collect money during the Feast of Saint Stephen, who is known for distributing aid to the poor and helping widows.
The two theories certainly have an inherent connection: using boxes to house gifts or help for those in need.
Over the centuries it has been customary for tradespeople to collect 'Christmas boxes' of presents or money on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.
Samuel Pepys mentions the practice in a diary entry from December 19th 1663: "Thence by coach to my shoemaker’s and paid all there, and gave something to the boys’ box against Christmas."
Five years later Pepys was not feeling so generous. Complaining in a December 28th entry from 1668: "Called up by drums & trumpets; these things & boxes having cost me much money this Christmas."
Where else is the day celebrated?
Although it is primarily celebrated in the UK, Boxing Day is also observed in Canada, Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and some other Commonwealth nations - however the holiday was not perpetuated by the English in the American colonies.
Every year the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - the world's biggest annual yacht race - begins in Australia on Boxing Day. The race covers 630 nautical miles and includes yachts from 35 to 100ft. A new race record was set two years ago when LDV Comanche made the crossing in one day, nine hours, 15 minutes and 24 seconds.
The Boxing Day test match is also held in Australia, with the Aussies set to compete against New Zealand this year.
三级成人视频Boxing Day is known as 'Saint Stephen's Day' in Ireland, dedicated to a saint who was stoned to death for believing in Jesus.
In Ireland, 'Wren Boys' were once notorious for blackening their faces and stoning wrens to death. They would then carry their catch around the town knocking on doors and asking for money. This distasteful act has now stopped, but the Wrens Boys still dress up and parade around town but collecting money for charity.
In some countries December 26th is celebrated as the Second Day of Christmas. The people of Holland, Poland, Hungary and Scandinavian countries see the day as an opportunity to continue their Christmas celebrations, with relaxing by the fire, going on walks and visiting family usually on the agenda.
From fox-hunting to Channel-dipping
Certain modified forms of hunting foxes with hounds are still within the law and several Boxing Day Meets take place every year.
Boxing Day was previously a day where families continued their Christmas celebrations by venturing out of their homes to enjoy entertainments including pantomimes, plays, variety shows, exhibitions, and sporting events such as football matches and hunts.
In recent times, the day has become synonymous with many sports. Horse racing is particularly popular with meets all over the country. A full programme of football fixtures is also played on Boxing Day.
Boxing Day is also a time when the British show their eccentricity by taking part in all kinds of silly activities. These include bizarre traditions such as swimming the icy cold English Channel, fun runs and charity events.
What was once a day of relaxation三级成人视频 and family time has now become a holy day of consumerism. The sales used to start in January post-New Year, but the desire to grab a bargain and for shops to off-load stock means many sales now start on Boxing Day.
Despite retailers offering good discounts, consumers are now choosing to search for deals online instead of their local high streets. Last year, the number of people heading to the shops on December 26 dropped for the third year in a row三级成人视频, with footfall down by an average of 3.1 per cent from Boxing Day 2017.