If you love gifts, you would love Boxing Day during your stay in London. This tradition is as old as centuries and was originally aimed at gifting the lower class with daily essentials.
In the Victorian era, from 1837 to 1901, the upper class used to box up leftover food, money, and goods and gift them to their tradesmen and servants. This display of generosity and goodwill among the upper class eventually turned into a widely celebrated custom in the UK.
The History of Boxing Day
One of the earliest events of Boxing Day dates back to 1663 when an English emperor sent off a box of gifts to his shoemaker. The tradition strengthened its route when the servants had to serve their masters on the day of Christmas and were granted a holiday the next day. They used to set off on foot for their homes with boxes of gifts gifted to them by their masters on the 26th of December. This became a national custom in the British and expanded to other countries as well.
It is also named St. Stephen’s Day. St. Stephen was known for his generous attitude towards the peasants and was the first Christian martyr. The boxing day is also theorized to be the feast day of Saint Stephen.
Over time, Boxing Day became a public holiday all over the UK and the Commonwealth countries. The purpose of the holiday was to retain the tradition of kindness and generosity. Initially, the tradition revolved around the concept of helping the less privileged people, but it has now emerged as a concept of exchanging gifts with friends and families.
If you’re planning to celebrate Boxing Day in London, consider exploring the vibrant Paddington area. While you’re there, find a comfortable stay without breaking the bank by booking a cheap hotel in Paddington. Enjoy the festivities and create lasting memories in this lively part of the city!
Boxing Day Traditions
Boxing Day is celebrated by following multiple traditions like exchanging gifts, charitable giving, visiting friends and families, and Boxing Day hunts. If you’re planning to extend your celebrations, consider exploring hotels near Hyde Park for a convenient and comfortable stay. One of the most obvious traditions is to share boxes of gifts with the underprivileged ones and now even with your friends and families. Typically, on Boxing Day, the churches would donate the collected money in alms boxes. Although this tradition has taken various new shapes, the objective is still retained in the festive practices of UK nationals.
Many people utilize this public holiday to visit their relatives and loved ones they didn’t see all year. Hence, meeting your friends and families is also one of the traditions of Boxing Day. Traditionally, this day was also utilized for fox hunting, which has now diminished due to lifestyle changes and social attitudes.
Shopping on Boxing Day
Boxing Day and shopping go side by side. With widespread Boxing Day sales, shopping for gifts has become easier for people. Retailers offer multiple discounts that allure big crowds who are already looking for the best deals.
The sales offered by the retailers are not just a shopping spree, but they are a crucial part of the traditional day, Boxing Day. Shopping on Boxing Day has not only become a tradition for the residents of the UK, but it has also spread throughout the commonwealth nations.
Boxing Day Sports
Boxing Day is incomplete without its traditional sports events like football matches or even horse racing. Rather, such matches are the highlight of the day, especially in the UK. These matches are scheduled for large audiences to attend and are held among the leagues.
Such sports give the day a festive atmosphere and extend its approach to bringing together communities through sport. Horse racing is one of the staples of Boxing Day. This day holds remarkable significance in the Horse racing calendar as the King George VI chase is held on the day.
You can also read: Explore Hyde Park and the Italian Garden
Boxing Day is all about outdoor activities. You can opt for various outdoor activities like countryside walks, winter sports, beach walks, and garden visits. You can enjoy the day by going on countryside walks and inhaling the serenity. It is the best way to celebrate winter and burn off the Christmas calories.
Furthermore, you can enjoy winter outdoor activities. For instance, in areas of snowfall, one can go skiing, snowboarding, and even sledding. Meanwhile, those who live close to a beach can go for a brisk beach walk. Likewise, a soothing stroll in a park can also be a refreshing outdoor activity.
Boxing Day has now become a medley of historical tradition and modern festivities. You can enjoy Boxing Day while staying in London by going for outdoor activities like skiing, skating, beach walks, garden visits, and sports like horse racing and football matches. Also, you can visit your friends and family and exchange gifts.
You can enhance your Boxing Day experience by staying at a three-star hotel, like Edward Hotel Paddington London, where comfort and affordability are trademarks. The hotel is the right choice for every guest staying in London due to its convenient location and easy access to transport.