Why Was Christmas Banned in England?

Eliza | 11 - 26 - 2020
Christmas in England

Christmas is one of the most wonderful times of the year. It was traditionally a Christian festival celebrating the birth of Jesus, and later it has become a family holiday for both Christians and non-Christians. But this festival was once banned in England for almost 20 years, paving way for the Second Civil War.

In 1647, the Puritan government as they believed Christmas was used as an excuse for drunkenness, promiscuity, gambling and other forms of excess banned Christmas.


Who Banned Christmas in England?
  • A. Puritans
  • B. Russians
  • C. Germans
  • D. None of the above

Why Did the Puritans Ban Christmas

In the first half of the 17th Century, December 25th was a public holiday and all working places will be closed. The Christians will attend special church services and public places will be decorated with holly, rosemary and Ivy. Celebrations included dancing, singing, playing games, drinking and exchanging presents. Festive feasts included roast beef, turkey, mince pies and many other meals.

The Puritans saw Christmas as a Pagan festival and they claimed that the 25th December was not a named day in the bible. This led to a big fight and they enforced the ban on Christmas. After that all shops and markets had to stay open on that day and many churches were locked to prevent the Christians from holding a Christmas service. For this ban, the public responded violently and there were disturbances across the country for a long time.

After the Puritans in England overthrew King Charles I in 1647, among their first items of business after chopping off the monarch’s head was to ban Christmas. Parliament decreed that December 25 should instead be a day of “fasting and humiliation” for Englishmen to account for their sins.

University of Warwick historian Professor Bernard Capp said, ““The repercussions of the rioting at Canterbury led eventually to a rebellion and a second Civil War. The Puritan ban had the perverse effect of making Christmas less religious as people still stopped work on the 25th December and secretly treated it as a time to eat, drink and enjoy themselves.”

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