Christmas Was Banned by Which Country in 1644?
When we talk about the history of Christmas, we can trace the happy holiday back to Roman times.
What a lot of people don’t know is that the big day was actually illegal for a short period of time in the Seventeenth Century.
But which country banned Christmas in 1644?
The ban was originally started in England by their Puritan and Protestant government.
They believed the holiday was a pagan ritual that shouldn’t be celebrated, and that we should instead use the day to repent for our sins with a fast.
This cruel ban was then adopted in New England, USA and even went to Boston for a number of years.
Why Was Christmas Banned in England?
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Puritans and Protestant Christians were ruling the Parliament in England.
Puritans saw any kind of merrymaking and celebrations as sinful.
And so all holidays celebrating pagan rituals, including Christmas, were banned.
But the Puritans didn’t just ban Christmas!
They actually turned it into a day of sadness. People were asked to work, attend school and even observe a fast as a punishment for their sins of the year.
This very un-festive banning of Christmas, of course, led to many protests across England.
Did Puritans Ban Christmas?
Before Oliver Cromwell and the Puritan reign, England and the UK largely followed laws derived from the Church of England and Roman Catholicism.
After Oliver Cromwell joined parliament, an act was passed that enforced Puritan beliefs over the whole country.
Puritans not only banned Christmas, but they also arrested and prosecuted anybody caught celebrating the festive day.
As part of the ban, Christmas trees and decorations were considered to be unholy pagan rituals and were not allowed under any circumstances.
The Puritans also banned traditional Christmas foods such as turkey, mince pies and pudding.
For more Christmas History check out our post on The History Of Christmas Carols.
When Was Christmas Banned in England?
All Christmas activities, including all celebrations like dancing, plays, games, carols and drinking were banned in 1644 by the Puritan government in England.
The Puritans of New England, USA, shortly followed suit, with Boston and Plymouth applying the ban slightly later.
The Christmas ban was lifted in England in 1660 when Charles II took over the throne.
Sadly though, the Puritans in New England kept the ban on the festive holiday and celebrating Christmas was a criminal offence until 1856.
Some schools even stayed open on December 25th until 1870.
A quiet century for Santa and his elves.
Discover the History of Santa, or Kris Kringle, here: The Real Story Behind Kris Kringle, St. Nicholas, Santa Claus & Father Christmas
Who Banned Christmas in 1644?
From 1644-1660, Christmas in England was officially illegal.
A lot of people believe Oliver Cromwell was directly responsible for the banning of Christmas, and although he did have a big part in it, it wasn’t strictly his doing.
It’s safer to say that the Puritans rejected Christmas so strongly that Parliament was forced to ban the holiday.
The government made Christmas a criminal offence and ordered London soldiers to seize food off of any families caught cooking a festive feast.
Christmas Was Cancelled! Which Country Banned Christmas in 1644? – Final Thoughts
We hope you’ve found this post interesting and enjoyed finding out which country banned Christmas in 1644.
It’s nice we can count ourselves lucky that the police aren’t going to come knocking at our doors to take away our delicious turkeys because of the smell wafting out on to the street.
However, writing this in 2020, the police might be patrolling the streets on Christmas day for a very different reason.
Fingers crossed in 100 years time we won’t be writing ‘Which Country Banned Christmas in 2020?’!
For more history of Christmas and the stories behind festive traditions, have a look at some of our related posts below.
Related History of Christmas Articles:
- Who Is Kris Kringle? The International Spirit of Christmas
- What is the Tradition & History of Christmas Bells?
- History of Christmas Trees: The Ultimate Guide
- History of Christmas Crackers: The Ultimate Guide
- The Christmas Story in the Bible
- What is Elf on the Shelf? The Tradition Uncovered
- What is Boxing Day, The Day after Christmas?