When Christmas Was Banned In Scotland

For today’s post, I would like to share with you a time when Christmas was banned in Scotland. Yes, it really was! And to mix things up a bit, I thought I’d have a little fun and try my hand at writing it as a poem. Perhaps it will sound a bit familiar to you. 🙂 Enjoy.


‘Twas the night before Christmas

and all through the land,

not a creature was stirring,

for Christmas was banned.

“Why?” you might ask,

when in Scotland of old,

the Yule was indeed

important we’re told.

You see, Yule – from the ‘Yuletide’-

was a festival of fun,

a time to laud the solstice

and the return of the sun.

Greenery was hung

as a symbol of life,

and the yule log burned warm,

merry, and bright.

In the year 1560, though,

something new happened.

The Reformation began –

spirits were dampened.

What used to be fun

was now frowned upon.

No more celebrations.

Beloved Yuletide was done.

From there it got worse,

more sadness and gloom.

And in 1640,

the Church lowered the boom.

Too pagan! Too Catholic!

Not biblical they said.

Go to work, eat your supper,

just be quiet instead.

Yuletide was banned,

the festivities finished.

If caught in celebration,

one would certainly be punished!

With no games, no gifts,

no more feasts to be had,

the people of Scotland

must have felt sad.

Thankfully, though,

cooler heads would prevail.

Nearly fifty years later

the act was repealed.

Three centuries more

was the notion suppressed,

though little by little

Christians welcomed the fest.

Old traditions and customs

that once had been barred,

were now part of Christmas,

reclaimed and restored.

Today Yuletide carols

are sung by a choir,

and Christmas trees sparkle

by the light of a star.

This Christmas as you

and your family delight,

I wish a happy Christmas to all

and to all a good night.

*Christmas became a public holiday in Scotland in 1958.

Enjoy your week, everyone, and I’ll see you again soon!



9 thoughts on “When Christmas Was Banned In Scotland

  • Love your poem. I did not know this about Scotland, learning something new about it every time I read your posts. Thank you. Many of my ancestors came from Scotland so I have new found appreciation and interest in your beautiful country. Merry Christmas

    • Thank you so much! I’m happy to know you are learning new things. Though I do have a little Scottish heritage, I am from the U.S. I live in Virginia, actually. I’m just very passionate about Scotland. Maybe someday I’ll be able to call Scotland ‘home’. 🙂

  • Clever poem!
    Yes! This is amazing to me. And, so they say, the lack of celebration at Christmas is a contributing factor to how Hogmanay (New Year’s Eve) got to be a 2-3 day blow out. Which reminds me, I’d better think about making a batch of Atholl Brose.

    • One of these days I’d like to experience a Hogmanay celebration. I’ve read that Stonehaven’s is pretty amazing, complete with fireballs. Looking forward to making your cake this coming weekend!

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