If This MA Holiday Law Was Still Practiced Would You be Outraged?
The holiday season is in full swing and Massachusetts is a wonderful state for celebrating Christmas. Take the Berkshires for example. It was recently published that Country Living magazine ranked Stockbridge at No. 1 on the publication’s list of 55 best Christmas towns to put on your holiday bucket list. You can read on by going here. This isn't a big surprise since Main Street Stockbridge at Christmas is a huge event where tourists from all walks of life come to celebrate and tour this event. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, Main Street Stockbridge at Christmas isn't an in-person gathering this year. You can get more details by going here.
It goes to show that the Berkshires is certainly a (if not the) place to be when it comes to celebrating Christmas. With all that said, did you know at one time there was a law that banned Christmas in Massachusetts? Can you even fathom that? Imagine being fined for celebrating Christmas. It's pretty astonishing but it is true.
Why was Christmas Banned in Massachusetts at One Time?
According to a Mass.gov blog, in 1659, the Massachusetts Bay Colony enacted a law called Penalty for Keeping Christmas. The notion was that such “festivals as were superstitiously kept in other countries” were a “great dishonor of God and offence of others.” Anyone found celebrating Christmas by failing to work, “feasting, or any other way… shall pay for every such offence five shillings.” [This would be about $48 today].
In Massachusetts, Christmas became a public holiday in 1856.
Good thing this law is no longer practiced in Massachusetts. Could you imagine how people would react if we had to start paying a fine (of any amount) for celebrating Christmas? Since we're in Christmas mode, I thought it would be fun to share this fact. So have fun, spend time with family, and rest easy knowing that you won't be fined for celebrating Christmas in the Berkshires and Massachusetts in general.
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Do you agree with this list?
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