Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Christmas in 1620s & 1630s Virginia

In 1631, George Herbert Priest to the Temple advised the Anglicans in mother England,"that the church be swept and kept clean without dust or cobwebs, and at great festivals strewed and stuck with boughs, and perfumed with incense." However, in the British American colonies, attention was being paid to the churches in Virginia before their use for the Christmas celebration.

By the 1620s & 1630s, references to Christmas appear in the Statutes at Large, or laws of Virginia; the Christmas season served as a calendar benchmark for various legislative & legal activities. In 1631, the laws stated that churches were to be built in areas where they were lacking or were in a state of decay, such action to take place before the “feast of the nativitie of our Saviour Christ.”