A Family RTW Travel Adventure (2008-2009)
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Boxing Day


Most Americans have no idea what Boxing Day is or when it’s celebrated.

When I was told it was a holiday celebrated the day after Christmas in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, I figured it must be the day family members settled longstanding grievances that inevitably surface during holiday get-togethers.

Not so, it turns out.

The holiday’s roots can be traced to Britain, where it is also known as St. Stephen’s Day.

Reduced to its simplest, Boxing Day began as the day the rich gave cash or other gifts to the lower classes.

Gifts among equals were exchanged on Christmas Day; gifts to the poor and those of a lower social class are given on the next day.

In practice, Boxing Day has become another public holiday that sets up a long weekend. In Australia, think of it as a sort of antipodean Fourth of July (without the fireworks).

It’s also the start of the Sydney to Hobart Race, one of the top offshore yacht races in the world.  More than 500,000 people found vantage points along the Sydney harbor foreshore to watch the start of the race.

Sydney Hobart Race

One hundred boats started the race and thousands more filled the harbor, providing the racers an escort just beyond the north and south heads.

The prohibitive favorite this year is the Australian yacht Wild Oats XI. But the most interesting entrant is Pachamama, the first Swiss boat to enter the race.

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December 26, 2008   5 Comments

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