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Forbidden Holiday

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“That the said Feast of the Nativity of Christ, Easter and Whitsuntide and all other Festival days, commonly called Holy-dayes, be no longer observed … within this Kingdom of England …”
—An Ordinance for Abolishing of Festivals [8 June 1647]

Ah, the holidays! A time of fun, joy, and community, where everyone has a good time being together. At least, that's how it is for most people.

However, every so often in fictionland someone will stumble upon a community that doesn't celebrate whichever holiday is being focused on. Usually this is because of factors beyond everyone's control, such as a fear that celebrating the specific holiday will lead to trouble for them. Maybe something awful happened on that day to make the people lose their holiday spirit. Or, maybe, there's just someone pulling the strings for their own personal reasons.

When Played for Drama, the protagonist often goes through the process of figuring out why the ban is in place and helping people celebrate the holiday again. In the most serious cases, however, the holiday will be eradicated for religious reasons- often with the people in charge trying to stamp out other beliefs. Played for Laughs, and the person in charge typically has very petty reasons for placing the ban and often chooses to replace it with something more self-centered.

If this is a Christmas Special, it will lead to the community learning the True Meaning of Christmas. However, any widely-celebrated holiday can count for this trope.

No Real Life Examples, Please! Though there are certainly many places where specific holidays are banned from being celebrated, this is not the place to get into the political and religious systems of real-world places.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Kirby: Right Back at Ya! episode "D'Preciation Day", King Dedede finds out Cappy Town holds individual Appreciation Days for every civilian...except him who they have nothing to be appreciative over. After some tantrum throwing, they begrudgingly go along with a Dedede Appreciation Day out of pity, though Kirby botches it, leading a furious Dedede to declare all Appreciation Days to be abolished and replaced with "Dis Days", where everyone can vent their hatred of the civilian in question, much to the dismay of Chef Kawasaki, whose Appreciation Day was scheduled next.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Richie Richs Christmas Wish, Reggie (from an alternate timeline) threatens to cancel Christmas if Richie isn't arrested.
  • Referenced in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves where one of the Sheriff's edicts as retribution against the populace for protecting Robin and his outlaws is to "Call off Christmas!" As with so many of the Sheriff's lines, it's Rickman's delivery that really sells it.
  • When Good Ghouls Go Bad: The town of Walker Falls doesn't celebrate Halloween because, when a child named Curtis Danko was mysteriously killed, he left behind the threat of destroying everyone if they celebrated Halloween again. However, despite the collective fear of the townspeople, the protagonist's father planned to have a "Spooktacular" to re-open the town's chocolate factory and some of the local children spent time collecting decorations to have their own secret Halloween.

  • In Ray Bradbury's story "The Exiles" it's mentioned that Christmas and Halloween (and presumably all other holidays) have been outlawed.
  • Exaggerated in The Giver. The community has banned any form of emotion and individuality, and that included holidays. Nobody even knew that the holidays used to exist, save for the Receiver and Giver of Memory.
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: While the world of Narnia was in a millenium-lasting Endless Winter and under the rule of the White Witch, Father Christmas was banished from the land, thereby forbidding Christmas for ever happening. Father Christmas appearing was one of the signs the White Witch's power over Narnia was growing weaker.

    Live-Action TV 

    Video Games 
  • Fate/Grand Order: In "Halloween Comeback", Halloween was banned when Cleopatra took over Castle Csejte, which is one of the reasons why the protagonist decides to help Elisabeth.
  • Genshin Impact: the Academiya tries to prevent the celebration of the Subzeruz festival as it marks not only the death of their preferred Dendro archon, but the birth of her replacement, Kusanali.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic reveals that the Old Sith Empire forbade its citizens from celebrating Life Day. This edict was largely ignored.

    Web Video 
  • The Cry of Mann: Trool Day is very nearly cancelled as a result of Jouglat's death, however Tank Mann makes sure it comes back.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged: It's established in "Christmas Tree Of Might" that Freeza abolished Christmas and replaced it with his own made up holiday called Freeza Day.

    Western Animation 
  • The CatDog Christmas special has St. Nick himself cancel Christmas after seeing Cat sell himself for Christmas.
  • In the first episode of Code Monkeys, the first item on Mr. Larrity's New Era Speech is cancelling Christmas and Hanukkah (or as he calls it, Jew Christmas).
  • Although celebrated In-Universe, Christmas in Futurama is far from the real meaning of Christmas, especially for Fry, who criticizes the way "Christmas" is celebrated in 3000 AD. This is mostly because Robot Santa is around the city in Christmas' Eve killing anyone who were around the street in that date... and sometimes, he gets into houses to kill people randomly.
  • An episode of King of the Hill had a Christian woman successfully get Halloween banned in Arlen. The ban is apparently overturned by episode's end after Hank organizes a impromptu costume party.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: "Luna Eclipsed" features a Nightmare Night celebration: the pony equivalent of Halloween, based very, very loosely on historical events involving Princess Luna. When the real Luna shows up to the party, she takes offense at everypony being so scared of her, and declares that Nightmare Night is cancelled forever. But the others show Luna that they appreciate her (and aren't scared of her in a bad way), which convinces her to reinstate the holiday by the episode's end.
  • In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, one of the many changes Doof-2 made after taking over the Tri-State Area was to ban summer.
  • Robot Chicken has a sketch where a town's "first atheist mayor" unilaterally bans Christmas, due to being, well, an atheist (the secular aspect of the holiday is ignored, and the church itself is allowed to remain—just without the chimey-thing for its bell so the town can't ring it for Christmas).
  • What's New, Scooby-Doo?: "A Scooby-Doo! Christmas" has the gang staying at a place called Winter's Hollow due to a roadblock. Despite it being Christmas Eve, most people in the town had decided to stop celebrating Christmas forever thanks to the yearly attacks by the Headless Snowman. Thankfully the town starts celebrating it again after the Headless Snowman is revealed to be William Fagen Higginson.