Christmas in Scotland

Last updated

Christmas funfair Christmas funfair - geograph.org.uk - 621401.jpg
Christmas funfair

Prior to the Reformation of 1560, Christmas in Scotland, then called Yule (alternative spellings include Yhoill, Yuil, Ȝule and Ȝoull; see Yogh), was celebrated in a similar fashion to the rest of Catholic Europe. Calderwood recorded that in 1545, a few months before his murder, Cardinal Beaton had "passed over the Christmasse dayes with games and feasting".[ citation needed ] However, the Reformation transformed attitudes to traditional Christian feasting days, including Christmas, and led in practice to the abolition of festival days and other church holidays; [1] [2] the Kirk and the state being closely linked in Scotland during the Late Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. A 1640 Act of the Parliament of Scotland abolished the "Yule vacation and all observation thereof in time coming".

Contents

Post-reformation suppression of Yule Tide celebrations

Two Acts of the Estates of Parliament—Act discharging the Yule vacance (2 June 1640) [3] and Act dischargeing the Yule vacance (15 April 1690) [4] — abolished the Yule Vacance (Christmas recess).

The first Act was partly repealed in 1686, [5] when Episcopalianism was briefly in ascendancy within the Kirk.

The second Act was partly repealed in 1712, by the Yule Vacance Act 1711 of the Westminster parliament. [6]

The 1640 Act stated (in Middle Scots): [3]

Robert Jamieson recorded the opinion of an English clergyman regarding the post-reformation suppression of Christmas: [8]

"The ministers of Scotland, in contempt of the holy-day observed by England, cause their wives and servants to spin in open sight of the people upon Yule day, and their affectionate auditors constrain their servants to yoke their plough on Yule day, in contempt of Christ's nativity. Which our Lord has not left unpunished, for their oxen ran wud, and brak their necks and lamed some ploughmen, which is notoriously known in some parts of Scotland."

Daft Days

The period of festivities running from Christmas to Handsel Monday, including Hogmanay and Ne'erday, is known as the Daft Days. [9] [10] [11]

Post-war period

Clootie dumpling Clootie dumpling.jpg
Clootie dumpling

Christmas in Scotland was traditionally observed very quietly, because the Church of Scotland – a Presbyterian church – for various reasons[ clarification needed ] never placed much emphasis on the Christmas festival.

Christmas Day only became a public holiday in 1958 in Scotland and Boxing Day in 1974. [12] [13] The New Year's Eve festivity, Hogmanay, was by far the largest celebration in Scotland. The gift-giving, public holidays and feasting associated with mid-winter were traditionally held between 11 December and 6 January. However, since the 1980s, the fading of the Church's influence and the increased influences from the rest of the UK and elsewhere, Christmas and its related festivities are now nearly on a par with Hogmanay and Ne'erday. Edinburgh, Glasgow and other cities now have traditional German Christmas market from late November until Christmas Eve. [14]

See also

Related Research Articles

Acts of Union 1707 Acts of Parliament creating the United Kingdom of Great Britain

The Acts of Union were two Acts of Parliament: the Union with Scotland Act 1706 passed by the Parliament of England, and the Union with England Act passed in 1707 by the Parliament of Scotland. They put into effect the terms of the Treaty of Union that had been agreed on 22 July 1706, following negotiation between commissioners representing the parliaments of the two countries. By the two Acts, the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland—which at the time were separate states with separate legislatures, but with the same monarch—were, in the words of the Treaty, "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain".

Christmas holiday originating in Christianity, usually celebrated on December 25 (in the Gregorian or Julian calendars)

Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed primarily on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world. A feast central to the Christian liturgical year, it is preceded by the season of Advent or the Nativity Fast and initiates the season of Christmastide, which historically in the West lasts twelve days and culminates on Twelfth Night; in some traditions, Christmastide includes an octave. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations, is celebrated religiously by a majority of Christians, as well as culturally by many non-Christians, and forms an integral part of the holiday season centered around it.

Hogmanay Scots celebration on New Years Eve

Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the New Year in the Scottish manner. It is normally followed by further celebration on the morning of New Year's Day or, in some cases, 2 January—a Scottish bank holiday.

New Year First day of a calendar year, in particular, January 1 in the Julian and Gregorian calendar

New Year is the time or day at which a new calendar year begins and the calendar's year count increments by one.

Yule Religious festival observed during the Winter season

Yule or Yuletide is a festival historically observed by the Germanic peoples. Scholars have connected the original celebrations of Yule to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht.

Yule log specially selected log burnt on a hearth as a Christmas tradition in parts of Europe, probably from Germanic paganism

The Yule log, Yule clog, or Christmas block is a specially selected log burnt on a hearth as a Christmas tradition in regions of Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, and subsequently the Americas. The origin of the folk custom is unclear. Like other traditions associated with Yule, the custom may ultimately derive from Germanic paganism.

These are the public holidays observed in Ireland. Public holidays in Ireland may commemorate a special day or other event, such as Saint Patrick's Day or Christmas Day. On public holidays, most businesses and schools close. Other services, for example, public transport, still operate but often with reduced schedules.

Scottish term and quarter days are the four divisions of the legal year, historically used as the days when contracts and leases would begin and end, servants would be hired or dismissed, and rent, interest on loans, and ministers' stipends would become due. The Term Days are Whitsunday and Martinmas, and together with Candlemas and Lammas they constitute the Quarter Days. These originally occurred on Christian holy days, corresponding roughly to old quarter days used in both Scotland and Ireland, with White Sunday or Whitsun occurring at the Easter Pentecost and thus moving around. These were mapped from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar and fixed in 1886 as 28 February, 28 May, 28 August and 28 November, and then later ratified by the Term and Quarter Days (Scotland) Act 1990.

Saint Andrews Day Slavic and Scottish holiday

Saint Andrew's Day is the feast day of Andrew the Apostle. It is celebrated on 30 November. Saint Andrew's Day is Scotland's official national day. It has been a national holiday in Romania since 2015. Saint Andrew is the disciple in the New Testament who introduced his brother, the Apostle Peter, to Jesus as the Messiah. He is the patron saint of Cyprus, Scotland, Greece, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, San Andres Island (Colombia), Saint Andrew (Barbados) and Tenerife.

Observance of Christmas by country traditions of celebrating Christmas around the world

The observance of Christmas around the world varies by country. The day of Christmas, and in some cases the day before and the day after, are recognized by many national governments and cultures worldwide, including in areas where Christianity is a minority religion. In some non-Christian areas, periods of former colonial rule introduced the celebration ; in others, Christian minorities or foreign cultural influences have led populations to observe the holiday.

In Scotland, the first Monday after New Year's Day was traditionally known as Hansel Monday, or Handsel Monday, and gifts were given at this time.

In the United Kingdom, public holidays are days on which most businesses and non-essential services are closed, although an increasing number of retail businesses do open on some of the public holidays. There are restrictions on trading on Sundays and Christmas Day in England and Wales and on New Year's Day and Christmas Day in Scotland. Legally defined holidays, analogous to "public holidays" in many other countries, are usually called bank holidays in the United Kingdom, but can also be referred to as "public holidays". Strictly, however, "public holidays" refer to "common law holidays", the observance of which derive from custom and practice.

Parliament of Scotland legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland

The Parliament of Scotland was the legislature of the Kingdom of Scotland. The parliament, like other such institutions, evolved during the Middle Ages from the king's council of bishops and earls. It is first identifiable as a parliament in 1235, during the reign of Alexander II, when it was described as a "colloquium" and already possessed a political and judicial role. By the early 14th century, the attendance of knights and freeholders had become important, and from 1326 commissioners from the burghs attended. Consisting of the "three estates" of clergy, nobility and the burghs sitting in a single chamber, the parliament gave consent for the raising of taxation and played an important role in the administration of justice, foreign policy, war, and all manner of other legislation. Parliamentary business was also carried out by "sister" institutions, such as General Councils or Convention of Estates. These could carry out much business also dealt with by parliament – taxation, legislation and policy-making – but lacked the ultimate authority of a full parliament.

Christmas cake type of fruitcake served at Christmas time

Christmas cake is a type of cake, often fruitcake, served at Christmas time in many countries.

Joe Corrie (1894–1968) was a Scottish miner, poet and playwright best known for his radical, working class plays.

Black bun type of fruit cake

Black bun, sometimes known as Scotch bun, is a type of fruit cake completely covered with pastry. It is Scottish in origin, originally eaten on Twelfth Night but now enjoyed at Hogmanay. The cake mixture typically contains raisins, currants, almonds, citrus peel, allspice, ginger, cinnamon and black pepper. It had originally been introduced following the return of Mary, Queen of Scots from France, but its original use at Twelfth Night ended with the Scottish Reformation. It was subsequently used for first-footing over Hogmanay.

Act of Adjournal

An Act of Adjournal is secondary legislation made by the High Court of Justiciary, the supreme criminal court of Scotland, to regulate the proceedings of Scottish courts hearing criminal matters. Now primarily derived from the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995, the original power to create Acts of Adjournal is derived from an Act of the Parliament of Scotland of 1672. Before promulgation, Acts of Adjournal are reviewed and may be commented upon by the Criminal Courts Rules Council.

Christmas in Sweden Christmas celebrations and traditions in Sweden

Christmas is celebrated throughout December and traditionally until St. Knut's Day on January 13. The main celebration and the exchange of gifts in many families takes place on Christmas Eve, December 24. The Lucia Day is celebrated during Advent, on December 13.

Christmas in New Zealand Christmas celebrations and traditions in New Zealand

Christmas traditions in New Zealand are similar to those in Australia in that they incorporate a mix of British and North American traditions, such as Christmas symbols featuring winter iconography. However, the timing of Christmas occurring during the Southern Hemisphere's summer season has resulted in the development of some local traditions as a result of the warmer weather. New Zealand Christmas dishes include summer fruits and vegetables, and pavlova. The New Zealand Christmas tree, the pōhutukawa, is displayed as well as the traditional Northern European tree.

References

  1. Ross, Anthony (Autumn 1959). "Reformation and Repression". The Innes Review . Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 10: 338–381. doi:10.3366/inr.1959.10.2.338. ISSN   0020-157X . Retrieved 1 December 2011.
  2. Christmas in Scotland: Christmas Around the World . World Book. 2001. pp.  23. ISBN   978-0-7166-0860-8.
  3. 1 2 "Act discharging the Yule vacance". The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 . University of St Andrews and National Archives of Scotland. Archived from the original on 19 May 2012. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  4. "Act discharging the Yule vacance". The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707. University of St Andrews and National Archives of Scotland. Archived from the original on 7 April 2014. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  5. "Act for the Christmas vacation". The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707. St Andrews: University of St Andrews and National Archives of Scotland. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  6. Cobbett, William (1810). Cobbett's parliamentary history of England: from the Norman conquest, in 1066 to the year 1803. Bagshaw.
  7. "Act discharging the Yule vacation". The Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707. St Andrews: University of St Andrews and National Archives of Scotland. Archived from the original on 14 December 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  8. Napier, James (1879). Folklore, or, Superstitious beliefs in the west of Scotland within this century: with an appendix, shewing the probable relation of the modern festivals of Christmas, May Day, St. John's Day, and Halloween, to ancient sun and fire worship. Paisley: Alex. Gardner. p. 190. Retrieved 2 December 2011.
  9. "Scotslanguage.com - Fergusson's Daft Days". www.scotslanguage.com.
  10. "Dictionary of the Scots Language:: SND :: feast".
  11. "Dictionary of the Scots Language:: SND :: daft".
  12. Houston, Rab; Houston, Robert Allan (2008). Scotland: a very short introduction. Very short introductions. 197. Oxford University Press. p. 172. ISBN   978-0-19-923079-2 . Retrieved 4 December 2011. Christmas became a public holiday only in 1958, Boxing Day in 1974
  13. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 3 February 2009. Retrieved 3 February 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. "Traditional German Christmas Market" Archived 2011-12-13 at the Wayback Machine Edinburgh's Christmas. Retrieved during the pre-festive season 2011.