News

Christmas in Colonial America wasn’t always festive

Christmas in Colonial America wasn’t always festive

CHRISTMAS IN COLONIAL TIMES: The festivities weren't always so bright in early America. Photo: clipart.com

Christmas in America has become a mixture of both secular and religious themes, a time of joy, gratitude and celebration.

But in Colonial times, it was a different story.

Surprisingly little is known about how early Americans celebrated Christmas.

That’s because historians of the day spent their time chronicling politics and wars, not holidays.

But it is known that the early settlers of Virginia, Maryland and Georgia brought English customs with them, while in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania the traditions of Holland, Sweden and Germany were carried on.

In New England, Christmas was long frowned upon. The Puritans associated it with the Church of England and the old-world customs they were escaping, including feasting, drinking and playing games.

Christmas and other holiday celebrations were banned in Massachusetts from 1659 until 1681. A law was passed declaring that anyone who observed a holiday would be fined five shillings.

The first state to declare Christmas a legal holiday was Alabama, in 1836.

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

‘Lucy,’ ‘Hercules’ beat expectations at box offices

Fresh
This image released by Paramount Pictures shows, from left, Aksel Hennie as Tydeus, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Atalanta, Dwayne Johnson as Hercules, Reece Ritchie as Iolaus, and Rufus Sewell as Autolycus in a scene from "Hercules."

Scarlett Johansson's "Lucy" collected $44 million to win the domestic box office race, outmuscling "Hercules" which took in $29 million.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: ‘Game of Thrones’: Season 4 bloopers

Fresh
Game Of Thrones

Check out the awkwardness behind the scenes with your favorite Westeros characters.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: July 28

beatles

A look back at the Hollywood headlines that went down in history.

in Entertainment

This weekend in entertainment history

prince

A look at the Hollywood headlines that made history.

in Entertainment

REVIEW: Scarlett Johansson gets brainy in ‘Lucy’

Lucy

A ridiculous premise doesn't have to sink a film, and Luc Besson's "Lucy" actually gets off to a solid start.