19 Dec: The War on Christmas

England’s Puritan Parliament attempted to purge Christmas of Catholic influences on 19th December, 1644, by passing The Ordinance for the Better Observation of the Monthly Fast, an attempt in the legislature to solemnise the day and prevent the public from indulging in carnal and sensual delights. Essentially: to ban Christmas.

The enforcement of these measures led to numerous conflicts, including the Plum Pudding Riot of 1647, when 10,000 men in Kent signed a petition declaring they would rather see the King back on his throne than forego Christmas celebrations – a message future ‘Merry Monarch’ Charles II certainly noticed…

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and Olly uncover the complexities of anti-anti-Christmas vandalism; explain why a calendar clash in 1644 persauded the Puritans to legislate; and imagine a world in which ‘Second Tuesday of the Month Day’ were celebrated with the gusto of December 25th…

Further Reading:

• ‘When Christmas carols were banned’ (BBC Culture, 2014): https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20141219-when-christmas-carols-were-banned

• ‘Did Oliver Cromwell Really Ban Christmas?’ (HistoryExtra, 2021): https://www.historyextra.com/period/stuart/no-christmas-under-cromwell-the-puritan-assault-on-christmas-during-the-1640s-and-1650s/?ref=planksip.org

• ‘Why Was Christmas Banned?’ (The Guardian, 2019):