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What Is Boxing Day and How Did It Become Deadly?

When I think of Boxing Day I think of the hustle and bustle of downtown with people cheerily shopping with their families picking up a couple things with their Christmas gift cards and money given to them by Santa. But that’s not what Boxing Day is about. It actually has nothing to do with its origins and how it is today, with Boxing Day becoming deadly …

Boxing Day 2011 saw a man killed outside a Foot Looker in England during a shopping frenzy. And back in 2005 on Boxing Day in Canada, a 15-year-old girl was shot in a crowd of shoppers (but that apparently had to do with gang activity). Is it something about the high-octane energy of people anxious to get a deal? One thing’s for sure: Boxing Day wasn’t always about shopping.

The origins of Boxing Day are pretty unclear, but it is something that has been around for centuries. It is believed that Boxing Day — always landing on the day after Christmas — was a day when the wealthy would give a box, containing a gift, to their servants. Their employees would also get the day off.  Another possible origin is based on the metal boxes that would be left outside of churches to collect offerings for the Feast of Saint Stephen. Boxing Day is also known as St. Stephen’s Day and celebrated the first Christian martyr. For ages, Boxing Day has been an established holiday in Great Britain, Canada and other Commonwealth countries.

Over the years Boxing Day has transformed from being a way to pay tribute to a saint or giving bonuses to your employees to a day of shopping deals and steals. In Britain, Boxing Day is as big as our Black Friday with millions hitting the stores in the search for deep discounts.

Do you go shopping on Boxing Day?

Image via: How to Do Everything and Be Happy

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