While the original Boxing Day tradition of donating boxes of food to servants and the poor has died out around the world, the holiday has evolved. New ways of celebrating Boxing Day have been replaced the original traditions.
In the United Kingdom, the day is celebrated with Boxing Day Drag Hunts and football, known as soccer in many parts of the world.
The Premiere League has matches on Boxing Day. All 20 teams play and there are 10 games in one day. These matches are broadcast around the world.
It is believed that the tradition dates back to a match between British and German soldiers in 1914 in Wulverghem, Belgium. In an unofficial ceasefire, soldiers laid down their arms and celebrated the holiday season together. Last year, to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of this event, The English Football Association hosted “The Game of Truce”, a tribute match between British and German soldiers.
This year’s Barclays Boxing Day Premiere League Football line-up, which will be live streamed on NBC, is:
- Stoke vs Manchester United #STKMUN
- Aston Villa vs West Ham United #AVLWHU
- Bournemouth vs Crystal Palace #BOUCRY
- Chelsea vs Watford #CHEWAT
- Liverpool vs Leicester City #LIVLEI
- Manchester City vs Sunderland #MCISUN
- Swansea City vs West Bromwich Albion #SWAWBA
- Tottenham vs Norwich City #TOTNOR
- Newcastle vs Everton #NEWEVE
- Southampton vs Arsenal #SOUARS
Boxing Day football is popular and the numbers reveal the scope. Advertising revenue of £5.1 billion will outstrip Super Bowl XLIV (2015) revenue of US$360 million.
All 10 teams will also play on New Year’s Day and the final day of the season.
There is an important takeaway for event planners. With more and more immigrants coming to the USA and Canada from countries where soccer is popular, event planners should consider adding soccer events and soccer themed events to their offerings.
Photo Credit: Nick