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Boxing Day,British holiday.

Ask about the history of Boxing Day and people usually go a couple of rounds trying to come up with a definite answer.

And, no, it has nothing to do with the sport.

Boxing Day is celebrated the day after Christmas, and is also known as the Feast of St. Stephen, according to the BritainUSA Web site (, which is run by the British Embassy in Washington.

In olden days, church alms boxes were opened and the contents given to the poor.

This custom evolved into the giving of Christmas boxes of food, money or other items to household servants, according to the Web site. It then grew to include gifts to public servants, such as postmen and garbage collectors.

This tradition lives on, the Web site says, with local churches giving gifts of food, clothing or money to those in need.

Many people also still give small gifts to postmen and garbagemen.

Boxing Day is a public holiday in Britain, with banks and most shops closed for the day.


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