Which Country Banned Christmas In 1644?

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In 1644 Christmas was banned in England.

It was during a time of turmoil and change in England. Christmas as a holiday or celebration was completely banned across the country. 

Which country banned Christmas in 1644?

Why was Christmas banned in England in 1644?

In 1644 Oliver Cromwell was put into power and as he was a Puritan. He wanted England to follow puritan beliefs. Parliament passed an act that imposed Puritan beliefs over the whole country.

These Puritan beliefs tried to distance the country from the Church of England and Roman Catholicism. This meant Christmas and other traditionally Christian holidays were frowned upon and had to be scrapped. 

Some Puritans believed that Christmas was used as an excuse for undesirable behaviour such as ‘drunkenness, promiscuity, gambling and other forms of excess.’

Puritans also banned Easter and Whitsun celebrations along with Christmas.

What is a Puritan?

Puritans were a group of English protestants in the late 16th and 17th centuries. They wanted to purify the Church of England and Roman Catholic practices, bringing them down to simple forms of worship.

They didn’t like ceremonies and other practices that were performed but were not rooted in the Bible. The puritan perspective was that unnecessary ceremonies and celebrations were distracting from the worship of God.

What did people do on Christmas Day when it was banned?

Instead of having Christmas celebrations, parliament implemented a day of fasting which was considered as part of Puritan worship.

Businesses were told to stay open and the public had been told to treat Christmas Day like it was any other day of the year.

How did people react to Christmas being banned?

There were protests across England. It was noted that people rioted and attacked shops, which of course were open. Why wouldn’t the people protest after having parties and celebrations taken from them?

Prior to Cromwell’s takeover there had been a civil war in England between the Puritans and Roman Catholics, and the banning of Christmas made sure it continued amongst the public even if the puritans had thought they won.

When did the Christmas ban end?

The ban was lifted in 1660 when Charles II had his title of King restored at the end of the civil war.

Christmas in England was officially illegal from 1644-1660.

However, Puritans continued to discourage people from participating in festive traditions and look down on people taking part in them.

Has any other country banned it since?

In America, Christmas was officially banned in Boston from 1659 -1681. Similar to England, traditional Christmas activities were made illegal in the state. This was also the doing of Puritans at the time, who had grown to dislike the Christmas feasting and other celebrations. They also banned it in rebellion to the English restoration of the holiday.

Christmas did not become a fully legal holiday again in Boston until 1870. However, even with the arrival of new residents in the area through the years leading up to 1870, schools and shops still opened on Christmas Day.

In 1644 England banned Christmas, and as you can tell people weren’t ready to give up the celebration. If your government decided to take away Christmas holiday festivities would you take it well?

The Vindication of Christmas in 1652
The Vindication of Christmas in 1652

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