To explain this tradition in Malta, we need to go back a little bit in history. As we may know Malta used to be a British colony, even during the World War II. In 1814 it officially became as a part of Great Britain and after long years in 1964 Malta achieved its independence. Due to the British pressure Malta still preserved the British traditions.
One of these taken over habits is the tradition of Boxing Day. Boxing Day is the day following Christmas Day, it is celebrated on December 26 in Great Britain.
More or less it is connected with charity: boxing up presents for the less fortunate, for those who are in needy. In Britain some people still keep this tradition, but in Malta not much remains of it.
Nowadays Boxing Day is more about the celebration of one extra day off, which means unwrapped presents, more food, more alcohol and for the interested: shopping with huge sales. For many shop owners this day is a great possibility for selling, ie recover some of their losses. Today all the shops are open with great sales, often with dramatic price reductions. Boxing Day has become a day of the year with greatest amount of returns.
Even from my personal experience I only can strengthen the fact that people go literally crazy when they notice sales and discounts. People are able to fight with each other just to get the last piece of nice shoes, dress or designer glasses. All the merchants know this, that’s why they open their doors early morning. The day after Christmas is just a perfect opportunity to go to your favorite shops and spend the extra cash received as a gift.
This shopping holiday is common in Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia – mainly the English speaking countries. But I believe shop owners all over the world are smart enough to use this “after-Christmas” business opportunity. However it is known as Boxing “Day”, in recent years it has been expanded to Boxing “Week”.
So let’s go Malta, open your wallets and feel free to refresh your wardrobe with brand new pieces. I really think it is a win-win situation: you make happy yourself by buying something new with 50% discount and it’s not even a question how happy you make the shop owners by spending your money at their store.