Friday, December 07, 2007

A Happy Secular Christmas

One facet of life in the UK that was not at all surprising is its secularism. The Leeds Student ran a piece the other day arguing that the university ought to drop Christmas break altogether. Why observe a Christian calendar in a secular state? Even the response essay focused on generic tradition rather than the birth of Christ.

What we didn't expect, however, was how much Christmas spirit and celebration there is all over England. And it is not just shopping that I'm talking about (although there is plenty of commercial Christmas as well). Restaurants and pubs have special Christmas menus. Even BBC radio highlighted the fact that this past Sunday was the first day of the Advent season, which is not a declaration you would hear on CBS news.

All in all, there is quite a happy Christmas spirit in Britain. It is just hard to tell, as an outsider, what the significance is in light of the secularism that has swept the country.

God bless the UK...I mean it...



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