Monday, December 26, 2005

No Christmas

I often wondered where the Scots Hogmanay tradition came from, and why it was always the big festival of the year.

Ignorant me. The Calvinist, Puritan tradition lived long in Scotland. In England Cromwell's men had outraged the population by banning celebrations as Popish idolatry. But in Scotland, not celebrating Christmas was a token of virtue and difference from the slackers south of the Solway.

Christmas Day was a normal working day in Scotland until 1958.

Nowadays Scots still don't celebrate Christ's birthday. But they buy presents and get drunk just like the English do.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

So, for over 400 years the Scots railed against the idea that they should spend extra money at Christmas? Scarcely surprising really...

Bruce said...

A Scot is very canny with his...

We make good bankers you see.

1958? Well I'm just glad my people got out of there 150 years ago.

I say, the code below says 'Dundee'!

Squander Two said...

The midwinter hooray-the-Sun's-coming-back celebrations were around long before the Christians appropriated them. So were the Spring-is-in-the-air eggs-and-bunnies let's-have-sex celebrations. As well you know, I'm sure.

I find it annoying that Christians, who have, for centuries, taken bits of pre-existing cultures and religions and adapted them for their own needs while discarding many of the core underlying beliefs, take such umbrage with atheists who think that "Thou shalt not kill" is still a good idea even without God.

dearieme said...

I'll have you know that my father was thought a very liberal employer: he gave everyone Christmas afternoon off! Anyway, Happy New Year.