December 24, 2005
Love Those Pilgrims: 17th Century Christmas Laws Culminated in Criminalization of Christmas!
In 1645, Cromwell's Parliament abolished the observance of Christmas thus banning all civil festivities associated with the celebration of Christmas, including the sending of Christmas cards. The Puritans in Massachusetts bested Parliament by criminalizing Christmas 14 years later. In 1659, the General Court of Massachusetts enacted a law making any observance of December 25 (other than a church service) a penal offense. The "Five-Shilling Anti-Christmas Law" stated:
Whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas, or the like, either by forbearing labor, feasting, or any other way upon such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for each offense five shillings as a fine to the country.
The Five-Shilling Anti-Christmas Law were repealed in 1681. Was the Act of Parliament repealed? To the best of my knowledge, no!
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I gotta tell you, we folks up in Boston still know how to have a good time! We closed the liquor stores for Boxing Day this year, too. Cha, cha, cha!
Posted by: Betsy McKenzie | Dec 27, 2005 2:07:36 PM