Many Canadians flocked to the country's shopping malls and e-commerce sites to snatch up Saturday's Boxing Day savings.

And while some have said that Boxing Day is losing steam in favour of Black Friday, a representative from Best Buy says Dec. 26 is still their biggest shopping day of the year.

Elliott Chun says Best Buy's Boxing Day deals are typically a little better than those on Black Friday, although the November shopping event is a popular day to pick up Christmas gifts.

Boxing Day sales

Shoppers queue for the sales at a Selfridges store in London, Britain December 26, 2015. Canadians are heading out to do take advantage of Boxing Day discounts as well. (Neil Hall/Reuters)

He says that on both days, the country is moving toward shopping online, favouring websites and mobile apps over bricks-and-mortar stores.

And the sales are also starting earlier this year — Best Buy and Amazon.ca both started up their e-commerce sites on Christmas Eve this year. Others, like the Gap Canada chain of retailers, offered early access to online sales to their email subscribers.

But for traditionalists who prefer to shop in-person, some Canadian malls and stores will be offering extended hours.

Most East Coast stores keep their doors closed on Boxing Day, so Atlantic shoppers will have to go online or wait until Sunday to get in on the action.

How did Boxing Day get its name? 

While no one seems to know for sure how it came to be called Boxing Day, it definitely has nothing to do with the sport of boxing.

Perhaps the most widely held understanding of its origins comes from the tradition of wealthier members of society giving servants and tradesmen a so-called "Christmas Box" containing money and gifts on the day after Christmas. It was seen as a reward for a year's worth of service.

Others believe it comes from the post-Christmas custom of churches placing boxes outside their doors to collect money for distribution to less-fortunate members of society in need of Christmas cheer. Some trace it to Britain's proud naval tradition and the days when a sealed box of money was kept on board for lengthy voyages and then given to a priest for distribution to the poor if the voyage was successful.

There are other explanations, but it's clear the designation has nothing to do with the modern habit of using the holiday for shopping at "big box" stores selling televisions, computers and the like.

With files from The Associated Press