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> Winterfest Out... Christmas In, Name change for festive programme
post 24th Dec 2009, 04:25pm
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Glasgow is to stop the use of the term 'Winterfest' as a marketing brand to cover the range of activities put on by the city over the Christmas holiday period. The term Winterfest – a partnership between Glasgow City Council, Culture & Sport Glasgow, and Glasgow City Marketing Bureau – was first used in 2007 to refer to Christmas and New Year celebrations, without actually using the word "Christmas", for fear of upsetting anyone who objected to the use of the religious term.

However, following a distinctly lacklustre reception by the people of Glasgow, as well as visitors to the city, Winterfest is now set – from next year – to be replaced by a marketing campaign which will officially return to using the word "Christmas". The Winterfest programme centres on the use of George Square as the focal point for month-long schedule of events including: ice skating, music, the Christmas lights switch on, fun rides, movies, food stalls, and Glasgow's Hogmanany event.

The use of Glasgow's civic square, where the city's Cenotaph is located, for such a noisy and brash programme of celebration had recently attracted some criticism, not least from one local MP, Tom Harris, who described the 'Winterfest' square as being "gaudy, trashy and ugly" (see attached photos below to see if you agree). Mr Harris wrote in his blog:

... I’m sad that a part of Glasgow’s childhood [a more serene George Square at Christmas] has been sacrificed to the demands of modern commercialism. Do people really need to have their senses assaulted 24 hours a day like this? Are we really so desperately in need of being entertained by flashing lights and noise wherever we go? Is it really so unfair to expect families to take a quiet stroll through the square and to enjoy the simple pleasures of Christmas lights?

The reintroduction of the official celebration of Christmas in George Square will however bring little cheer to the people of Springburn in Glasgow North East, who have had all reference to Christmas and Christ removed from their winter displays in the local shopping centre. Bosses at the Springburn Shopping Centre decided some years ago that references to Christmas should not feature in displays in the mall and – despite a high-profile campaign to keep him – Santa has since been replaced by Eskimos, and a penguin sits where baby Jesus once lay.

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'Christmas' display in Springburn Shopping Centre in 2008


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post 24th Dec 2009, 05:42pm
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It's good to hear that this is the last year of ' Winterfest' and hopefully next year will be renamed; ' Christmas Celebrations. '

I don't mind the Ice Rink, but I think the Stalls are cheap looking and make the Square look like the Barra's.

The people of Springburn have the remedy in their own hands. Next year they should bombard the Bosses with letters of complaint before Christmas and if there is no difference then don't shop there.
These places can't survive without the customers.

The bosses idea of Christmas Decorations is hypocritcal.
It's the people who celebrate Christmas that buy all the Christmas goods, not the people who are offended by Christmas.

I do not buy any Christmas presents from shops that are not decorated, as I consider those shop owners hypocrite's. ' Buy our Christmas goods but don't expect us to openly celebrate Christmas'. Bah Humbug. mad.gif

Heather.......I'm tartan. Alba gu Brath. Saor Alba
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*Alastair Barnett*
post 24th Dec 2009, 05:48pm
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I'm too disgusted by the removal of the word Christmas and reference to Jesus in our Christian country's celebrations and shops make any coherent comment. Perhaps I just did.

From a Scot with fond memories of Dear Old Glesga Toon -- now exiled in Victoria, BC.
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post 24th Dec 2009, 06:20pm
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Just read the story about Springburn. I am from the North of Glasgow and this story really annoyed me. If we are now forgetting the whole meaning of Christmas and the fact it represents Christ's birth just to accomodate the growing number of so called [Edited: removed] everyone will be a little bit happier.

Merry Christmas.

This post has been edited by GG: 25th Dec 2009, 01:05pm
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*Rob Schellinger*
post 24th Dec 2009, 07:26pm
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Kudos to the Glaswegians shunning political correctness. Keep it up and inspire the rest of Europe. Actually, we could use it here in the USA as well.

Merry Christmas and have a wonderful Hogmanay!

Rob Schellinger (Clan Wemyss)
Lakeland, FL. USA
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post 24th Dec 2009, 07:39pm
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In Canada, the same story. Happy Holidays, instead of Merry Christmas...It irkes me to no end that for the sake of folks who decide to come and live here that we have to forsake the meaning of Christmas, which has been celebrated,and acknowledged by Christians for centuries.

I am sorry.....something wrong with this picture.

I for one have never stopped wishing one and all a..MERRY CHRISTMAS. Shame on the businesses that give into such pressure..Like the lady said...Boycott the Mall if necessary.

Okay, now i shall await the term....bigott.
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post 24th Dec 2009, 07:49pm
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Well-said guest. Why don't people just stand up for what they believe in? Start an e-mail campaign telling people not to shop there, believe me that would soon make the big shots sit up. Regarding George Square I think having the ice rink is nice all the other stuff not so nice. I have noticed people in our little town have started to display the manger in their gardens along with their lights. That also sends a message. Make sure the card that you send reads Merry Christmas and not happy holidays.
Let me please wish all my long time GG friends and new ones a very MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL

From Glasgow now in Canada
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Rob Rattray
post 24th Dec 2009, 07:51pm
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This news is upsetting for our young ones need a time for revellry at the end of their school year and maybe that is why the powers that be have placed Xmas day in December when theologically speakiing, He entered our world 17 Apr 6 BC in summer time!
Proof there is when one studies the scriptures that it definitely was NOT snowing when the witnesses to the birth appeared - shepherds leaving their flock to graze and kings travelling over deserts from lands afar [Orient].
And December being the tenth month of the year too, not twelfth! We are becoming too starchy as we age and do not think about our younger days always criticizing the youth of today; times are changing as are our youths but why reprimand them for anything that we did not do 60 years ago; just because it was not available then for us is bias!
[But I do agree that guns and drugs be forbidden - always until prove that they are a part of the life He died for!]

God Bless

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post 24th Dec 2009, 08:47pm
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Merry CHRISTmas to everybody who is offended .

" a nation of sheep results in a government of wolves"

"For evil to flourish, all that is needed is for good people to do nothing."

“The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists.”
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post 24th Dec 2009, 09:41pm
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I read a quote recently and it went like this:

If you take the Christ out of Christmas all that is left is M&S!

Other religions manage perfectly well to keep to their age old traditions and are not contstantly mocked for it, I am pleased, and relieved, to see the Glasgow will stop this non sensical practice and re-introduce Christmas to the festivities.

Happy Christmas to you and yours. smile.gif
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j.irvine bell
post 24th Dec 2009, 09:55pm
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As a Christian I am delighted that the expression Winterfest will be removed from the Christian celebrations of the birth of our Lord and Saviour. I accept that there are many people of different religions in our great City and, regretably, many who have no faith at all. However let us, as Glaswegians of whatever faith or of none at all, never forget that this venerable City was founded by a monk - whether you want to call him Mungo or Kentigern , and that for many years our City was an ecclasiastical centre long before it grew and developed into it's present position. As I write this on Christmas Eve before going to Church to celebrate the birth of Jesus, again it is immaterial whether or not Christ was born on 25th December or this date was taken from some ancient pagan festival, the fact remains that for centuries this is the day set aside to celebrate the birth of our Lord, I am elated that the City Fathers, wittingly or no, have helped put CHRIST back into CHRISTmas. I am also reminded as a child I was taught at school the then Glasgow motto, "Let Glasgow Flourish BY THE PREACHING OF THE WORD ". Yet again whether for political correctness or pressure from and agnostic/ athiest pressure group, the last part of our City motto was dropped. In light of this change of heart over the use of Christmas for future holidays I do hope these dreadful people who run the Springburn Mall take a lesson from those elected to run our City. Finally, believers, or not have a very happy Christmas and as I sit in Church tonight I will pray for our City and her Fathers and being strictly P.C. her Mothers too. GOD bless you all.
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j.irvine bell
post 24th Dec 2009, 10:11pm
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I have just read Guests blog and he/she appears to believe in our Lord but obviously has no time for as he/she calls them "so called refugees". This from a professed believer is intolerable. Where would our City be without the influx of outsiders, Highland Scots, people from Africa and the Indian sub-continent and what about the IRISH. Please all Christians disassociate your self from this annonymous cretin.
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post 24th Dec 2009, 11:24pm
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I have never noticed that George Square had no Christmas greetings, glad that they have decided to revert back to them.
As for the Springburn shopping mall, bypass it if possible or start a petition to have CHRISTMAS decorations brought back, the customer has more power they they realise and doesn't use it.
Bye for now, norrie
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post 25th Dec 2009, 12:29am
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Winterfest? Hogswatch? Who cares?
Maybe the people of Glasgow have gone soft.

I guess those who made that decision a couple of years ago must have been as surprised then as I am now in reading here that the Glasgow citizens took it lying down.
I'm not Christian but my big brother is a devout preacher.
In Germany the Christmas presents are opened on the evening of the 24th.
Tonight we reached under our two meter Christmas tree and exchanged Christmas presents and wished each other a Merry Christmas.
No Christmas?
No pressies!
How could Glasgow have accepted Winterfest?
Would she accept Hogswatch instead of Hogmanay?
Not in my time, not in the Glasgow I knew.
Merry Christmas from a non Christian.

"Destiny is a good thing to accept when it's going your way. When it isn't, don't call it destiny; call it injustice, treachery, or simple bad luck.”
― Joseph Heller, God Knows
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*Sean Sweeney*
post 25th Dec 2009, 01:03am
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Here is a nice Facebook page I joined here in America. But Facebook is worldwide, so join in, my fellow Glasgwegians:
"I say 'Merry Christmas', not 'Happy Holidays'!!"
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