Has the traditional Christmas celebrations changed in Southampton?

 

SOUTHAMPTON’S Christmas Festival started on Thursday 15th November with residents in high spirit as it returns for the 4th year.

Landscape picture of the Christmas lights and German Christmas Market in the highstreet.
Landscape picture of the Christmas lights and German Christmas Market in the highstreet.

The traditional German Market features unique designed alpine chalets, including a German fayre and individual stalls offering the ultimate Christmas gift from Christmas toys, clothing and jewellery to savoury meals and bratwurst to delicious sweet treats.

Flying Santa brings something special along with the traditional Christmas music, carol singers, school children and Bavarian musicians, creating Christmas spirits to the High Street.

Southampton SKATE & Moguls Alpine Bar has also returned which has brought profit and visitors over the seasons.

Two ‘Skate Southampton’ Christmas Poles to tell residents and Visitors what the activities are this Christmas season.
Two ‘Skate Southampton’ Christmas Poles to tell residents and Visitors what the activities are this Christmas season.

With celebrations underway, are we forgetting the traditional values of Christmas?

In a survey conducted by ComRes on behalf of Theos in December 2010 the following results were obtained:

  • 51% agreed with the statement “the birth of Jesus is irrelevant to my Christmas“, while 46 %disagreed with the statement.
  • 54 %agreed “Christmas is over-rated“, while 44 % disagreed with the statement.
  • 36 per cent said they would be attending a Christmas service. 62 % said they would not be going to a service and two% were unsure.

Has the introduction of the festive activities made people forget about the traditional and religious values, Rev David Masters, minister of Southampton, says:

“So, what has taken over the focus of Christ-mass from its religious meaning? Consumption.  We have entire industries built upon the this, with the vast majority of the retail sector making the bulk of its profits in the Nov – Jan slot.  And even with the shops shut, people still shop.

It is not just Southampton that has a lost sight of the meaning of Christmas, most people in the UK, if not the western ‘developed’ world have. Church has become part of the consumer spirit that drives now the season –  the robin (rather than cherry) on the Christmas cake.

I will never turn anyone away from church, but it bothers me that Easter, the Christian’s most significant festival, never sees the same footfall.”

Southampton each year are celebrating Christmas bigger and better than ever, Merry Christmas and can’t wait to see what the city brings next year.

By Abbie Lambden (@abbielambden)