Boxing Day is a public holiday celebrated on the 26th of December in countries with predominantly Christian population. It originated from an Anglo-Saxon tradition of giving gifts wrapped in a box to less wealthy people and slaves. It later extended to giving gifts to various work people.
More recently and in the West, this day has come to be known as a shopping holiday. A time where many shops have sales with dramatic discounts. Today, the sales are extended for longer periods.
In England, this day is also known for sports. The football and Rugby leagues usually have full programmes and matches are usually organized with local rivals to avoid lots of travelling.
Closer home, these traditions may not have quite stuck although this holiday is observed.
Boxing Day is largely known as a day of real relaxation.
It is so because after real family time on Christmas day filled with celebratory church services, partying and feasting, many are usually exhausted and usually choose to stay in.
For Aline Mutesi, a Social worker, Boxing Day is a day of meeting up with friends as Christmas day was largely spent with family.
“We usually organize a party or go to the beach on this day and just enjoy ourselves.
We do not usually exchange gifts but sometimes exchange Christmas cards before this day. Being around your friends is what is most important for us.” She says.
For Fidel Mugabo, an IT technician the 26th December is a day to rest.
“Mostly I stay at home with family nursing the previous day’s hangover and relax by watching movies with them.
Also, as a family, we use it to finish off the previous day’s food leftovers and later in the evening I may go and join up with my friends for an evening drink.”
It looks like Boxing Day benevolence in the form of wrapped boxes is yet to catch on in most parts of Africa, however much we may have adopted Western forms of Christmas celebration.
This is probably an indication of economies in Africa that are still not very fluid.
However, it should be mentioned that in the rural areas, farm produce is still exchanged as gifts in church on Christmas morning.