The Daily Mail has admitted that the term Winterval has not been created as a replacement for Christmas.
It’s getting nearer to Christmas so cue plenty of stories in the tabloids – usually on slow news days – about how some councils or organisations are trying to rename/re-brand Christmas as Winterval so as not to offend any minorities. Such “moves” are usually blamed on the “PC brigade” or atheists – it depends on who isn’t flavour of the month.
The stories of councils renaming Christmas as Winterval stretch back over a decade and have appeared in most tabloids and broadsheets – not just the Daily Mail. However, the actual facts of the original use of the term are less known; it was coined by a council wishing to market a wide range of events in one go instead of marketing each event individually. That little fact hasn’t, for the past decade or so, stopped papers routinely claiming that Christmas will be ditched in favour of Winterval.
Well in the Daily Mail’s new clarification column the tabloid newspaper has admitted its mistake on the issue. The clarification states ‘We stated in an article on 26 September that Christmas has been renamed in various places Winterval. Winterval was the collective name for a season of public events, both religious and secular, which took place in Birmingham in 1997 and 1998. We are happy to make clear that Winterval did not rename or replace Christmas’
Will that be the end to such Winterval stories in the press? Somehow that seems unlikely. It’s a urban myth that many are all too willingly to believe because it panders to the mass hysteria surrounding the “PC brigade”. We can’t help but ponder though how many other press stories about the “PC brigade” are not exactly accurate or representative of the full facts.