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Christmas banned for 400 years?

14th Dec 2023

From hauntings to heritage, return to Edinburgh’s dark past again & again. Use your Returner’s Rewards for a discount each time you come back.

The Forbidden Celebration

When Scotland split from the Catholic papacy in the 16th century, winter holiday festivities started to become controversial. At this time, a period known as the Scottish Reformation, Christmas was considered extravagant and largely associated with Catholicism. 

As the country had adopted Protestant views during the Reformation, this association slowly led to a complete ban. In 1640, Scottish Parliament passed a law that made celebrating the day illegal and punishable by imprisonment. Imagine not being allowed Yule bread or mincemeat pies!

What does this mean?

How did we get to the celebration we know today? How did our traditions shift from banned holidays to twinkling Christmas trees? And what impact did this ban have on other winter festivities?

These are all questions we’re answering in our latest YouTube video, Why was Christmas banned for 400 years? | Winter holidays in Scotland.

Watch the video above to learn all about the history of Christmas trees, how the ban popularised Scottish New Years celebrations, and discover how the tradition of First Footing might determine the outcome of your next year.

Don't forget your Returner's Rewards! Already been on tour with us? Try another—with a discount! From hauntings to heritage, return to Edinburgh’s dark past again & again.

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