- (Photo: Winston-Salem Journal/Andrew Dye)
Wednesday has arrived with Boxing Day - traditionally the day after Christmas Day, on Dec. 26.
Boxing Day takes place each year on the day after Christmas. However, if Dec. 26 falls on a Sunday, Boxing Day is moved to Dec. 27 in many places.
The secular holiday is celebrated in the U.K. as well as in many places settled by the English. Although it is not celebrated in the U.S., the December 26th event is observed in locations that include Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and is known as a shopping holiday - much like Black Friday is in the U.S.
The traditional English holiday extends the Christmas giving season, and has become the day of the year with the greatest amount of returns.
While the origin of the holiday is unknown, it is believed that Boxing Day may have arose after servants who were required to work Christmas Day having the following day off.
Furthermore, Boxing Day would mark the day servants and tradesmen would receive gifts from their superiors.
It was customary for tradesmen to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday following Christmas, possibly leading to the name of the holiday.
In the U.K., Boxing Day is one of the many holidays recognized by banks, government offices, and the post office.
Many social media sites have been flooded with messages from those celebrating Boxing Day, with Happy Boxing Day becoming a trending topic on Twitter Wednesday.
"Happy Boxing Day," wrote Twitter user Nate.
"Sat at home baking cakes, watching the Grinch eating leftover food from Christmas Day," wrote Lydia. "Love boxing day."
Fiona posted on the micro blogging site: "Boxing day is basically an excuse to sit in bed all day and replace meals with chocolate."
"Boxing Day here in Canada," wrote Anita. "Time for some shopping!"
Some Twitter users posted about their curiosity surrounding Boxing Day, including Donna who quipped, "Is it called boxing day as a suggestion of the best way to settle the inevitable Christmas day arguments?"
Meanwhile, another tradition also takes place in the U.K. on Dec. 26 - the Feast of St. Stephen. The event commemorates the preaching and devotion of Saint Stephen who was one of the seven original deacons of the Christian Church.