Boxing Day in New Zealand

When is Boxing Day in New Zealand?

Boxing Day in New Zealand is on December 26, 2023. It falls on Tuesday.

How many days until Boxing Day in New Zealand?

There are 271 Days left until Boxing Day in New Zealand.

Is Boxing Day a public holiday in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, the day after Christmas Day is another public holiday called ‘Boxing Day’. It is held on December 26th, however, if it falls on a weekend, it will be moved and celebrated on the next working day. Meaning, if Boxing Day falls on Saturday, it will be moved on Monday, and if it falls on Sunday, Tuesday will be its celebratory date as Monday will be taken as the public holiday for Christmas Day.

Origin of Boxing Day

Today, Boxing Day is observed by several Commonwealth countries that once form part of the British Empire. New Zealand celebrates this holiday alongside countries such as UK, Canada, Australia, among others.

How did Boxing Day start?

There are few theories recorded regarding how Boxing Day originated. One of the theories states that Boxing Day is based on the practice of the priests’ during Middle Ages where they open alms boxes (offertory boxes) every 26th of December. These boxes contain monetary donations which are then distributed to the less fortunate individuals in the society.

Another historical record states that Boxing Day has its roots in the middle of 19th century, originating from United Kingdom during the rule of Queen Victoria. Boxing Day got its name based on the old practice of the wealthy people in England where they would hand out box up gifts to their servants the day after Christmas. The servants are unable to celebrate Christmas Day with their own respective families since they need to serve their masters or employers during the occasion. Hence, it has become a traditional practice in England to give the servants a day off on December 26 for them to celebrate the holidays with their loved ones – this is believed to be the reason why Boxing Day nowadays is celebrated the day after Christmas. Before sending them off, the masters/employers traditionally give their staffs or servants special Christmas gifts placed inside a box. The Christmas boxes may contain money, special dishes (usually leftovers from Christmas Day), clothing, footwear, and other valuable items.

Boxing Day Traditions in New Zealand

Boxing Day is a public holiday (also known as statutory holiday) in New Zealand, so many business establishments close and most employees are given a time off work. Government offices along with educational institutions also suspend operation, though students should already be in their summer holiday break at this time.

For the Kiwis (colloquial term for New Zealanders), Boxing Day means additional day for relaxation. Whether it is staying at home while watching sporting events on TV, enjoying Christmas dinner leftovers with family and friends, or traveling, this day is celebrated according to each family’s own traditional practices.

Beach Trips

Since December is the start of the summer months in New Zealand, most of the Kiwis head to the beach to enjoy the holidays. The beach is a popular destination for most of the families who want to enjoy Boxing Day before going back to work. The country offers one of the most stunning beaches in the world and these places are expected to get crowded during the day’s celebration.


Traveling has also become customary for many Kiwis around Christmas time. While there are those who plan their trips within the country, there are some who would apply for few days leave at work on the days leading to Christmas and Boxing Day so they can travel for the holidays abroad.

Shopping for Boxing Day Sales

Boxing Day is a busy day in New Zealand. Although many businesses close for the day, there are still a number of shops and stores which remain open and continue to operate, even offering large, discounted prices for Boxing Day – discounts may range from 25% to 80%. Nowadays, the Kiwis who do not have any plans of traveling somewhere often take advantage of these reduced prices and likely spend the day shopping outside. Various stores are offering discounts on their products.

Dates of Observance for Boxing Day
Year Date Day Holiday
2023 December 26 Tuesday Boxing Day
2024 December 26 Thursday Boxing Day
2025 December 26 Friday Boxing Day
2026 December 26 Saturday Boxing Day
2027 December 26 Sunday Boxing Day
2028 December 26 Tuesday Boxing Day
Upcoming New Zealand Holidays
Holiday Date
Good Friday April 07, 2023
Easter Sunday April 09, 2023
Easter Monday April 10, 2023