Mince Pie Law
Can you really be arrested for eating a chopped pie on Christmas Day? Are you allowed to shoot a Welshman with a longbow on a Sunday in Chester? According to British urban legend, the old laws could still get you into trouble or literally get away with murder. From something as simple as eating a chopped pie to the crucial act of getting yourself a Christmas tree, there are prejudices about what might be illegal at this time of year. How did people come to believe that enjoying a chopped pie could land them in jail and that sticking a stamp on it was tantamount to treason? READ MORE: I`ve tried the Thin pies from Sainsbury`s, M&S and Tesco and there was a clear winner When Christmas Day fell on a fasting day, you shouldn`t have eaten at all, but Thin pies – or pastries of any kind – were never distinguished. Anyway, although chopped pies have been and are associated with Christmas, they have probably been eaten at other times of the year and contemporary recipes do not insist that they are only for Christmas. A captured Charles I was apparently denied the chance to eat plum pudding on his last Christmas Day in 1648 – although this had more to do with the general minor severity imposed by his prison guards during his last stay in London. The tradition dates back to Oliver Cromwell`s time in the 1650s, when chopped pies were banned at Christmas, along with other treats. Caption: It is claimed that the act of eating a chopped pie on Christmas Day is illegal in England. Thousands of people enjoy Thin pies on Christmas Day as part of their festive traditions. However, University of Kent historian Mark Connelly claimed that the ban on eating chopped pies had still not been lifted.
While the chopped pies themselves were not illegal, eating them was a sign of a secret Christmas party that had been strictly banned. So why is it a “fact” that Cromwell bans chonce pies? Oliver Cromwell banned chopped pies and other Christmas treats in the 1650s to combat gluttony. The ban didn`t last long and the act of eating chopped pies is now just a myth. It could be that chopped pies and their banning are meant to represent the broader attack on Christmas as a secular holiday distinct from Christian practices. The “Twelve Days of Christmas,” still celebrated in song, if not in practice, was a long-established time of celebration and celebration that had little to do with Christian practice. It was despised by the Puritans for several reasons, not only because of the discouragement and debauchery involved, but also because of their mission to abolish everything that is not prescribed or permitted by the biblical Scriptures. At the Restoration in 1660, all laws passed between 1642 and 1660 were declared null and void, allowing the religious and secular elements of the twelve days of Christmas to be celebrated openly again. A powerful symbol of non-religious Christmas, the “ban” on chopped pies is a simple shorthand to explain a much broader attack on Christmas tradition by religious fanatics – a symbol that has become a fact over time – and as an arch-puritan, regicide and king in all but name, it was of course Cromwell himself who abolished them. The proof: festive celebrations, including chopped pies and Christmas puddings, were reportedly banned in Oliver Cromwell`s England as part of efforts to combat gluttony. This inaccessibility is not good for the law and naturally makes people suspicious. Fake old laws may seem harmless, but they have a darker side. Even if no one seriously believes that the rules on chopped pies and upside-down stamps would be enforced today, these myths position the law as absurd, arbitrary, outdated and oppressive.
Christmas Day is not yet unregulated, but this time it is necessary to ensure that the day can continue to be celebrated. After some department stores opened on Christmas Day, the government conducted a public consultation in which an overwhelming majority of 97% of respondents wanted department stores to remain closed on Christmas Day so as not to “seriously undermine the specificity of Christmas Day and harm employees.” To preserve the specificity of this holiday, the government enacted the Christmas Day Commerce Act of 2004, which prohibits businesses larger than 3,000 square feet from opening on Christmas Day. Stores under 3,000 square feet are not affected by the legislation and can remain open if desired, selling any ground pies they can. Have you heard that it is illegal to die in Parliament? Or eat chopped pies on Christmas Day? Are you a Welshman who nervously avoided Chester and are you afraid of committing treason by mailing a letter with an upside-down stamp? You can look back with horror at those childhood crimes where the doorbell rang and fled. Nowadays, it is practically mandatory to eat chopped pies on Christmas Day! As with other stories that often pop up during the holidays, sometimes the belief arises that it is illegal to eat chopped pies on Christmas Day in England, so lovers of thin pies can eat these treats behind closed doors and closed curtains. In 2015, the Law Commission fortunately confirmed that there is no enforceable law prohibiting the occasional ground pie. However, such a ban existed in England, a few centuries in the 17th century. In the nineteenth century, and what followed the ban on mint pie, was a ban on celebrating Christmas in its entirety. None of these regulations mention chopped pies or cakes of any kind. Cakes themselves were a fundamental part of 17th century cuisine in England, as evidenced by cookbooks of the time, including one filled with recipes by Leticia Cromwell (a relative?). There was nothing “papist” or “pagan” in a cake. And chopped pies weren`t the kind we know today — they were meat pies usually made with beef tongue, tallow, and hot water crust.
He said: “Cromwell felt that if you were caught eating a chopped pie on Christmas Day, you were definitely trying to celebrate this forbidden festival.” It`s holiday time again, when everyone is a little happier than usual and there is a noticeable joy and smell of pine trees in the air.