Joyce Banda’s administration has restored the Boxing Day as a public holiday effective this year.
The former ruling Democratic Progressive Part’y government of the late Bingu wa Mutharika delisted the day from public holidays because according to him Malawi had too many holidays most of which he said were counterproductive.
Local government spokesperson Maganizo Mazeze says in a statement that the holiday has been reinstated in honour of most Christians in the country who observe the day as an important day of their religious calendar.
“Government has observed that many Malawians Christians continue to treat boxing day as a special day in their religious calendar and that it is also celebrated as a public holiday in many countries and societies the world-over,” reads the statement in part.
Boxing Day which falls on 26 December the day following Christmas Day, is when servants and trades people receive gifts from their superiors or employers, contained in what is known as a “Christmas box”.
In other quarters the day is better known as a bank or public holiday. it is celebrated on the first or second weekday after Christmas Day, depending on national or regional laws.
It is observed in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and some other Commonwealth nations.
In South Africa, Boxing Day was renamed to Day of Goodwill in 1994. In Ireland it is recognized as St. Stephen’s Day (Irish: Lá Fhéile Stiofáin) or the Day of the Wren (Irish: Lá an Dreoilín).
In some European countries, notably Germany, Poland, Scandinavia, and the Netherlands, 26 December is celebrated as the Second Christmas Day.
In Canada, Boxing Day is a federal public holiday. In Ontario, Boxing Day is a statutory holiday where all full-time workers receive time off with pay.