Why Massachusetts Will Celebrate Boxing Day in December
Since Massachusetts was one of the first colonies in the original British invasion (not to be confused with the Rolling Stones, Beatles and Herman's Hermits), it is understandable that we Bay Staters would adopt some British customs, no?
We really dig our fish and chips, Monty Python, and all things royal family – and apparently, the British holiday Boxing Day is jolly good, too.
What is Boxing Day anyway, and why do we care about it in Massachusetts?
Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated after Christmas Day, occurring on the second day of Christmastide (December 26). It originated in Great Britain and is celebrated in several countries that previously formed part of the British Empire.
Though Boxing Day originated as a holiday to give gifts to poor people, it has now morphed into a kind of Black Friday where folks take advantage of special holiday sales.
In most countries where Boxing Day is observed, including Canada and Australia, it is a bank holiday or public holiday, meaning a day off from work for many.
In some parts of Europe, including Ireland, Poland and Italy, the day after Christmas Day is Saint Stephen's Day.
So what does all of this have to do with Massachusetts?
Massachusetts now observes Boxing Day as an official holiday. While it is not a bank or public holiday, meaning you don't get the day off, it is a holiday nonetheless.
When did this come to pass?
In 1996, then-Governor William F. Weld declared Boxing Day a holiday in Massachusetts in honor of local British citizens who wished to celebrate it.
Some Brits, especially the upper crust, celebrate Boxing Day with a good old-fashioned fox hunt. Cheerio!
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