Day of Goodwill: Here’s what y

Photo: Harry Strauss/Pixabay

Day of Goodwill: Here’s what you need to know

Day of Goodwill is celebrated annually on 26 December, the day after Christmas.

Day of Goodwill: Here’s what y

Photo: Harry Strauss/Pixabay

Day of Goodwill is observed on the day after Christmas, 26 December. It is also known as Boxing Day.

It is said that this public holiday is one of the many changes that were implemented after the South African government did away with apartheid in 1994. Originally, as Boxing Day, it was the British holiday of gifting boxes on the day after Christmas.

Day of Goodwill

Day of Goodwill is the day for giving, especially to the less fortunate. This, of course, is exactly the definition of Boxing Day as well. On 25 December, you give and share lots of food, drinks, love and even gifts with your loved ones. And on 26 December you should ‘box’ everything you don’t need and give it away.

Box it up

South Africa merely renamed the day to define its purpose. The original intention for it was to box up the excess of the abundance of the holidays and give that to the poor. This makes the intention a lot clearer.


According to News24, no one knows for sure when Boxing Day started, but some believe it was centuries ago, when servants would be given the day after Christmas off as a day of rest after feverish preparations for their masters’ celebrations.

Others trace it back even earlier, to the Roman practice of collecting money in boxes – they say Roman invaders brought this practice to Britain, where it was taken up by the clergy to collect money in boxes for the disadvantaged. The tradition gained popularity during the Victorian era and has flourished to this day. 

What people actually do on Boxing Day

It is said that Boxing Day has evolved into a day of relaxation and indulgence – and shopping. It is filled with sporting eventsand it is often a day when people open their homes to family and friends who drop by for turkey, ham, and perhaps half-consumed bottles of wine leftover from Christmas dinner.

In Britain it used to be a day for fox hunting in the frost-tinged countryside, but that practice has been mostly banned for more than a decade now. In its place, “Boxing Day Sales” have flourished, with many Britons lifted from their post-Christmas torpor by the lure of low prices in department stores.

Also read: South Africa vs England: Illness rocks visitors’ Boxing Day Test preparations

Day of Goodwill events

There is also various events that will take place on 26 December around South Africa. Whether it is running or having braai, here are some events taking place over SA: