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Home   Kent   News   Article

Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is against the law

24 December 2011

Mince pies stock

Before you start tucking into a mince pie tomorrow – beware as you're actually breaking the law.

Oliver Cromwell believed that Christmas was plagued with superstitions of the Roman Catholic Church which he despised and he also thought the tradition probably had Pagan routes.

But his decision to ban all Christmas celebrations in 1657 didn't go down too well with folk in Kent.

Civil disturbances broke out in Canterbury and in London during the December of that year and these provoked riots – known as the Plum Pudding Riots – in the Kent city in 1658.

It resulted in Cromwell having to send out 3,000 armed men from The Westgate Towers to break down the city gates and enforce the ban.

Historian Mark Connelly from the University of Kent says the ban of eating mince pies still hasn't been abolished.

He said: "Cromwell held that if you're caught eating a mince pie on Christmas Day you're definitely trying to celebrate this banned festival."

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