About the British Boxing Day (1896)

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Boxing Day observed by the Britishers with great eclat

Time-honored Boxing Day — so called from the fact that from time immemorial it has been devoted to the giving of “Christmas boxes,” or “tips” — is being observed today with the usual eclat.

The letter-carriers of the metropolis and the provincial cities returned from their morning trips loaded down with presents and with their financial resources increased in proportion to the wealth of the district embraced in their rounds; and the baker-boys, grocers’ assistants, milk-carriers, newspaper deliverers and servants of all decrees and stations received their Christmas gratuities with becoming thankfulness.

The sideboards of the public houses, or saloons, were adorned with the usual round of corned beef and platters of red pickled cabbage — the Boxing Day fare of the ale drinker for centuries — and patrons toasted the landlords in foaming tankards, supplied without money and without price.

The day being bank holiday, there was a general suspension of business, and the streets of the city were thronged with merry holiday-keepers.

Tonight the opening of the Christmas pantomimes will attract a multitude to the various theaters. The shows are fully as elaborate, and in some cases more so than of yore; but the old fables have not yet given way to new fangled ideas, and just as was the case two or three decades ago, “Puss in Boots,” “Aladdin,” “Bluebeard,” and “Cinderella” furnish the groundwork of the peculiarly English pantomime entertainment.

>> Read more: What is Boxing Day?

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