Why Are There Boxing Day Fights in America?

This usual peaceful holiday had a rude awakening on Monday.

Unless you are from Canada or the UK, you may not know what Boxing Day is. It has nothing to do with sports and its not the new name for the deal Amazon has with Goodwill. For people around the world, Boxing Day is basically the equivalent to Black Friday after Thanksgiving for Americans. Stores put out some of the best deals of the season to draw in customers the day after Christmas. Traditionally, the holiday had more humble roots. Hundreds of years ago people that worked on Christmas were given the next day off to be with their families. Sometimes they were given boxes of goods to take home to share with their families, if their employers were generous enough. But much like with Christmas, the spirit of giving has somewhat been lost in the hustle and bustle of grabbing the latest deal. America, meet the boxing day fights.

Boxing Day and the United States

Boxing Day isn’t an officially recognized holiday in the United States like it is elsewhere. In Canada, Amazon and Best Buy had some amazing exclusives that came out on this day that weren’t available in the U.S. Some stores though still offer some after holiday sales a little closer to home. Sales of this magnitude, no matter where they are attract a lot of attention. After leaving the family Christmas party, thousands of Canadians rush to the nearest Best Buy or other big store in the hope of finding unbeatable deals. Crowds ensue and chaos is inevitable. This is why we will never go Black Friday shopping again (Cyber Monday all the way!).

Boxing Day Lineups

A typical Boxing Day lineup in Canada — Source: Wikimedia Commons

Because of this, perhaps it is no surprise to some that over 10 Boxing Day fights happened at malls the day after Christmas. These 10 separate events resulted in police having to be called to quiet the situations. Some malls had to be evacuated while others were shut down during operations. In New Jersey, lanes heading towards one of the malls came to a complete halt, resulting in traffic that lasted for hours. The mall didn’t even open back up until Tuesday. Fights and stampedes can be seen from recordings of what happened inside of these malls. There was even some food fights in some of the food courts.

Future Boxing Days and Boxing Day Fights

It is still unclear why exactly this happened. It’s been suggested that there is some evidence of it being organized on social media. Some customers swear that they heard gunfire and had yelled so to others. This is part of the reason that people began to run to the exits in a panic. Multiple fights broke out around the different malls. While most of these events didn’t end in arrests, police are looking to see if they may be necessary.

Boxing Day in the United States definitely had a different affect on people then it does in other areas of the world. Black Friday is another great example of what happens when we put customers near sales and leave the doors wide open. Hopefully next year events like this won’t happen again.