Showing posts with label Puritans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Puritans. Show all posts

Dec 22, 2017

Christmas Banned

Christmas was banned in England between about 1644 and 1660 by Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of England. Oliver Cromwell, along with Puritan members of parliament, believed the merrymaking and festivities observed during Christmastime were acts of sin and insults to God. Celebrating Christmas became a punishable offense, and consumption of Christmas foods was forbidden. The ban in England remained in place for almost 20 years, during which people secretly celebrated Christmas. When the British monarchy returned to power in 1660, it overruled all laws passed since 1642, and lifting the ban on Christmas.

Christmas was, until recent times a purely religious festival and New Year was and still is the main holiday for Scots. Christmas was not traditionally celebrated in Scotland, because it was banned for nearly 400 years until the 1950's. Christmas was not even a public holiday until 1958. Hogmanay was the real traditional celebration. LINK

Similar laws were passed in Puritan colonies in America. Christmas was banned in Boston and Plymouth Colony from 1659 to 1681. In 1659 the Puritan General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony made it a criminal offense to publicly celebrate Christmas and declared that “whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way” was subject to a 5-shilling fine. In New England, Christmas did not become a legal holiday until 1856.

Although outlawed in public, the celebration of Christmas endured in private homes, particularly away from the Puritans in Boston. December 25 was declared a US federal holiday in the United States in 1870.

Nov 20, 2015

Pilgrims, Colonists, and Puritans

The word pilgrim was never used by the actual people it describes. It is a myth that pilgrims wore only black and white clothing and had buckles on their hats, garments, and shoes.

The Church of England Separatists living in Plymouth during the 1600s were much more colorful than story books portray. Black and white were commonly worn only on Sunday and formal occasions and women typically dressed in red, earthy green, brown, blue, violet, and gray, while men wore clothing in white, beige, black, earthy green, and brown. Buckles did not come into fashion until late in the seventeenth century.

Colonists (pilgrims and puritans) did not live in log cabins. The log cabin did not appear in America until late in the seventeenth century, when it was introduced by Germans and Swedes. Log cabins were virtually unknown in England at the time the Pilgrims arrived in America. Pilgrims lived in wood clapboard houses made from sawed lumber.

Pilgrims and Puritans were two different groups. The Pilgrims came over on the Mayflower and lived in Plymouth. The Puritans, arrived a decade later, settled in Boston, and came to America strictly in search of religious freedom. They did not welcome dissent.

Puritans considered the Pilgrims incurable utopians. While both shared the belief that the Church of England had become corrupt, only the Pilgrims believed it was beyond redemption. They therefore chose the path of Separatism. Puritans held out the hope the church would reform.

Puritans welcomed laughter and upper class dressed in bright colors, but lower classes dressed in dark clothes. The anti-liquor and anti-sex attitudes usually attributed to the Puritans are a nineteenth-century addition to the views of early settlers in New England.