While Christmas 2015 has been banned in Somalia (for fear of Al-Shabaab attacks), Borneo (despite all of the US taxpayer money flowing into the Sultan of Brunei’s harem fund anyone caught celebrating the season there is subject to 5 years in jail), Tajikistan (apparently Father Frost is too Western for Prime Minister Kokhir Rasulzoda) and in Venezuela by economic default (hey, it’s hard to feel jolly when you know you’re going to have to share your casket with the rest of the village), even the good ole’ US of A has experimented with their own yuletide bans.
No, for today’s Genius Idea Friday PD isn’t going into Sunset Park Brooklyn’s PS 169 ban on angels, stars or even the word Christmas, but rather we wanted to focus on Boston’s 22 year ban on the holiday.
Long before pressure cookers were up on Boston’s ban block (okay May 1659 to be exact), the Massachusetts Bay Colony issued the following edict, “For preventing disorders, arising in several places within this jurisdiction by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other communities, to the great dishonor of God and offense of others: it is therefore ordered by this court and the authority thereof that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon any such account as aforesaid, every such person so offending shall pay for every such offence five shilling as a fine to the county.”
So an evening of roasted goose, chestnuts and a carol could run you a 15 shilling fine.
That law was later overturned in 1681 by the English-appointed governor, Sir Edmund Andros, and Christmas itself didn’t become a Federally recognized holiday until roughly 200 years later in 1870.