Boxing Day in England is devoted to eating leftover turkey and cold meats and doing as little cooking as possible. Families visit each other, perhaps seeing family members they didn't get to see on Christmas Day. Long walks are a popular pastime to walk off all the big meals, along with taking the time to play board games together.


In Ireland, Boxing Day is also the feast of the Christian martyr St. Stephen, as mentioned in the carol Good King Wenceslas, and it is celebrated as a public holiday. Family members spend time popping into each others' houses as part of an extended Christmas celebration. This day also coincides with a pagan festival, Wren Day, that is a nod to the penal days in Ireland and involves parades and people dressed in straw collecting money for the poor.

South Africa

Known now as the Day of Goodwill, this day has supplanted Boxing Day in South Africa. It is devoted purely to compassion and goodwill, so it's a great way to honor Christ's birth. In a bid to help others, people donate food, clothes, and drink to the less fortunate and ponder the simple things in life with family and friends.


While Australians celebrate Boxing Day as a public holiday, with most public services closed, it's also a day full of major sporting events. With cricket test matches starting, as well as important yacht races, many families gather to watch their favorite sports, while others take the opportunity of a day off work to spend time with each other.


Canadians also mark Boxing Day with a holiday, and as with most western countries, use it as a day to visit relatives and relax after the big day of Christmas. Some use it to get out shopping for bargains or to take back unwanted gifts.


Although they live in a Commonwealth country, Cameroonians don't get a day off work. However, the emphasis is still on family, so workers may reduce their work time that day or not go in at all, spending the time with their family.


Unusually, the Pakistani government makes a distinction between Christians and non-Christians, with the former having the option to choose Boxing Day as one of their annual public holidays. Non-Christians, however, have to go to work.