Canadian Boxing Day is celebrated on December 26, the day after Christmas. The holiday is celebrated most commonly in Canada, the U.K., and other British Commonwealth countries.
Some people call Boxing Day a “Second Christmas” since it’s another excuse to exchange gifts with your loved ones, find incredible shopping deals and discounts, and spend quality time with family and friends. The traditions in Canada are a bit different than the rest of the world, but the love, celebrations, and comradery remain. If you’re celebrating Boxing Day in Canada this year, keep reading to learn how to celebrate your traditions with your loved ones.
First, what is Boxing Day?
Boxing Day is celebrated annually on December 26 around the world. Its origin story is up for debate, but it was commonly known that December 26 was a day off for the servants and working class. Wealthy business owners would give their employees and staff Christmas leftovers and other presents. The food and gifts were usually wrapped up in a box, hence where the holiday’s name originated.
In other histories, the holiday was meant to collect donations and distribute charity to the poor. Even though the holiday’s origins are debatable, it is still a widely celebrated day around the world where family, friends, and loved ones gather for another round of holiday joy.
How does Canada celebrate Boxing Day?
Boxing Day in Canada is a public holiday for eight out of the ten provinces. It is not a publicly recognized holiday in Alberta and British Columbia, so many Canadians will still go to the office on December 26th.
Even as the holiday is celebrated worldwide, Canadians have their own unique traditions for this historic holiday.
Boxing Day in Canada has become a makeshift version of the U.S.’s Black Friday. Boxing Day provides fantastic shopping discounts, and many stores open their doors early. Boxing Day is a great opportunity to run to the stores and snag all your last-minute favorites, if you want a new refrigerator or flat-screen TV
Some shoppers will wait for hours in line to purchase that Christmas gift they never received. Or some may use it to return unwanted gifts from their family and friends. Even though there are discounts during the holiday season, Boxing Day remains a highlight day for mega deals.
One of the best parts of celebrating Boxing Day in Canada is indulging in some Christmas dinner leftovers. Known as “Boxing Day Brunch,” many people will invite over old friends and neighbors to eat a leftover feast.
Many Canadians will partake in the British tradition of serving Yorkshire pudding, and other guests will enjoy sandwiches made from leftover Christmas ham and turkey. Also, red wine, ginger cocktails, and pints of beer are the libations of choice on Boxing Day. Boxing Day Brunch is a nod to the holiday’s old tradition of sending out your leftovers, plus it’s a chance to share more time with family and friends!
Mumming is a bit of an older tradition around the world, but remains strong in Canada today, especially in Newfoundland. In some places, it’s a folk play or a farce and is practiced as part of the Twelve Days of Christmas. In Canada, people dress up in crazy costumes and play pranks on their neighbors. These “Mummers” recite poems, put on plays, and even walk in a Mummers parade. The atmosphere is joyous and a bit mischievous since you never know who’s hiding underneath that mask.
Watching World Juniors Ice Hockey
Another way that Canadians celebrate Boxing Day is to cheer on all their favorite sports teams. Even though many families in the U.K. and Ireland celebrate Boxing Day with wren and fox hunting, Canadians will go skating, curling, or watch their Canadian World Juniors team instead.
The World Juniors Ice Hockey Championships begins on Boxing Day in Canada and runs for 31 games over 10 days. It’s a 10-nation tournament featuring the world’s best men’s players under 20. In the land of hockey, Canadians celebrate the start of the championships every year on December 26.
Sending Money from Canada
If you can’t decide what to gift your family and friends this holiday season, consider sending money from Canada to your loved ones abroad. It’s easy using our reliable money transfer app.
Plus, Western Union is offering a $0* transfer fee for friends and family sending a money transfer. This promo is for new customers exclusive to Western Union and is valid only until February 28, 2023, when sending money online via app and WesternUnion.com.
Boxing Day in Canada is another opportunity for friends and family to spend quality time together during the holiday season. So, no matter how you decide to celebrate Boxing Day in Canada—watching hockey, mumming, shopping, eating leftovers, or video-chatting with far-away family members—we hope you enjoy connecting with your loved ones on December 26th.
*Disclaimer: FX gains apply