Christmas in Scotland: These 31 pictures from the 1960s show what the festive season was like half a century ago
Many of the Christmas traditions we now enjoy are relatively new – the big day wasn’t even a public holiday until the 1950s – but there were still plenty of festive celebrations in Scotland over half a century ago.
Prior to the late 16th century Christmas in Scotland was called Yule and was celebrated with days of feasting and games
All this would change with the Reformation of 1590 when traditional church feasting days and holidays were effectively abolished, with a 1640 Act of the Parliament of Scotland bringing a legislative end to the "Yule vacation and all observation thereof in time coming".
The Christmas-cancelling act was partly repealed in 1712 by the Westminster Parliament, with Chistmas Day becoming a Bank Holiday in 1871.
But even then the festive celebrations were relatively muted, with the Church of Scotland not placing a huge emphasis on the Christmas festival.
The familiar festivities we now know began in the Victorian era, with the first Christmas card being sent in 1843 and the first Christmas tree (originally a German tradition) introduced to the UK in 1840.
Celebrations increased throughout the late 19th and early 20th century and Christmas Day was finally made an official public holiday in 1958, with Boxing Day following in 1974.
In the 1960s snow was much more likely to fall in Edinburgh in December – with all but three years in the 1960s delivering the white Christmas many of us dream of to Eastern Scotland.
The Christmas festivals – and Christmas Market – Edinburgh is now famous for were decades away, but the multiple department stores in the city centre put on big shows with their elaborate window displays.
And many of the familiar traditions – from pantomimes and nativities, to Christmas parties and festive lighting – were firmly on the festive calander.
Here are 31 pictures to take you back to Christmas in Edinburgh in 1960s.
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