The Oxford English Dictionary gives the earliest attestations from Britain in the 1830s, defining it as "the first week-day after Christmas-day, observed as a holiday on which post-men, errand-boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas-box"
In some European countries, notably Germany, Poland, Belgium, the Netherlands and the Nordic countries, 26 December is celebrated as a Second Christmas Day.
This custom is linked to an older British tradition: since they would have to wait on their masters on Christmas Day, the servants of the wealthy were allowed the next day to visit their families. The employers would give each servant a box to take home containing gifts, bonuses and sometimes leftover food.
Our Anambra state correspondent, Bamidele Ajayi went round major cities of Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi to cite people’s opinion about the day after Christmas holiday popularly called boxing day.
His Report :
There is no doubt that Nigeria got her independence under the British colony, where customs and traditions copied under the British hegemony still reign in the affairs of the country, even after six decades of independence.
In Britain, it was a custom for trades people to collect "Christmas boxes" of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year. This is mentioned in Samuel Pepys' diary entry for 19 December 1663.
Christians in Anmabra shared their knowledge about the annual ritual and how it has become part of the country's religion tradition.
They share their thought on the festive period, separating it from the general perception to physical boxing contest as it s wildly viewed by many.
The European tradition, which has long included giving money and other gifts to those who were needy and in service positions, has been dated to the Middle Ages, but the exact origin is unknown. It is believed to be in reference to the Alms Box placed in areas of worship to collect donations to the poor. Also, it may come from a custom in the late Roman/early Christian era, wherein metal boxes placed outside churches were used to collect special offerings tied to the Feast of Saint Stephen, which in the Western Church falls on the same day as Boxing Day.