Story: Holidays

A Boxing Day holiday

A Boxing Day holiday

Before they were enshrined in law, many of the days that are now statutory holidays were observed as 'customary holidays'. Businesses closed and everyone took the day off, usually to join in community festivities. Christmas Day was one such day, but when it fell on a Sunday – usually a day of rest – the following day was sometimes taken off instead. This Nelson newspaper article of 1859 explains how Boxing Day will be 'generally observed' as a holiday, with various entertainments planned, including a cricket match and a steamboat excursion. 

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National Library of New Zealand, Papers Past
Reference: Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, 24 December 1859, p. 2

Permission of the National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

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How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Holidays - Paid holidays', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/document/40738/a-boxing-day-holiday (accessed 24 August 2019)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 5 Sep 2013