BOXING Day is usually spent letting the children destroy the house with their new toys and gadgets, while adults head out to some of the biggest shopping sales of the year.

Others take the day to recuperate from all the Christmas madness after all the festive cooking and preparing.

But December 26 hasn’t always just been about football matches and eating leftovers of Christmas dinner, as over the years new traditions have evolved.

Why is Boxing Day called Boxing Day?

The National: Do you know anymore history behind the Boxing Day name?Do you know anymore history behind the Boxing Day name? (Image: Getty)

Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with the sport of boxing.

Instead, it’s thought the name came from when Queen Victoria was on the throne.

“In Victorian times, the wealthy would box up items they no longer needed to give to the poor," explains House Beautiful.

“It was a day where servants would be given time off and thanked for their hard work with a 'special box' of treats.

“The servants would then head home and use the 26th to spend with their own families — and share the presents they had just received.”

The National: Lush and Next usually have some of the biggest Boxing Day sales in the UKLush and Next usually have some of the biggest Boxing Day sales in the UK (Image: James Manning/PA)

Who celebrates Boxing Day?

Boxing Day became an official bank holiday in England and Wales back in 1871.

It did not become an official bank holiday in Scotland until as late as 1974. 

It is also celebrated in many former British colonies that remain part of the Commonwealth, such as Canada, Australia, Nigeria, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, according to National Geographic.

However, some parts of the world have their own traditions.

National Geographic explains: “Though Northern Ireland celebrates Boxing Day, the Republic of Ireland to the south celebrates St. Stephen’s Day instead. And on December 26, pockets of people across the entire island continue the tradition of Wren Day, or Lá an Dreolín.”

Will the UK get snow this winter? 

Why doesn’t America celebrate Boxing Day?

It’s thought there is no definitive reason as to why America doesn’t celebrate Boxing Day other than the country had already adopted its own Christmas holidays.

They created Thanksgiving Day in November 1798 to give thanks for “livelihood and good health” throughout the year.

In America, the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday which is the largest shopping and sales day of the year, instead of the day after Christmas in the UK.