"Winterval” (winter + festival) was coined in 1997 by Mike Chubb, the Birmingham (UK) city council’s head of events, as the name of a winter festival around the time of Christmas and New Year’s. The name “winterval” was widely perceived as an attack on the name “Christmas”—Chubb stated that this was not the intention—and Birmingham discontinued use of the name “winterval” after 1997 and 1998.
“Winterval” has had infrequent use in the United Kingdom and in many other countries.
Winterval was a season of public events in Birmingham, England organised by Birmingham City Council in each of two consecutive winters: first from 20 November to 31 December 1997, and then again from mid-October 1998 to mid-January 1999. The intention was to encourage people into the newly rejuvenated city centre, with secular and religious events marking religious and other occasions during the relevant period. The name “Winterval” has since become used in the UK as shorthand for what are presented as attempts to “rebrand” Christmas so as not to exclude non-Christians.
The name “Winterval” was a portmanteau of winter and festival, coined by the Council’s Head of Events, Mike Chubb.
The extended Winterval the following year included: Hallowe’en; Guy Fawkes Night; Diwali; Ramadan and Eid; Hanukkah; Advent, Christmas, and Boxing Day; New Year’s Eve; and Chinese New Year.
OCLC WorldCat record
Author: Inge Pollet
Publisher: [Sint Jansteen/Arnhem] : [s.n.], 1995.
Edition/Format: Print book : Dutch
9 November 1998, The Guadian (UK), pg. 3, col. 1:
Bishops go crackers as council wishes everyone a merry Winterval
Google Groups: uk.local.birmingham
Is it just me, or are there others who are sometimes embarrassed to be Brummies? It’s bad enough being nationally ridiculed for an accent that is no culturally different than any other area’s, but to be under a Council who come up with such stupid ideas in a sad attempt to be politically correct is an involuntary removal of personal dignity!
Google Groups: uk.local.birmingham
Winterval: Statement from Council Leader
Further to recent comment, here is a statement from the leader of Birmingham City Council, Cllr. Theresa Stewart:
First of all, let me assure you that the reports you have seen in newspapers or heard on the radio are completely wrong. Christmas has not been displaced or ignored, nor has it been renamed Winterval.
Winterval, which is now in its second year, simply describes a period of festivities which starts at the beginning of November with bonfire parties and ends in mid-January with the New Year sales in full swing. Christmas and all its associated activities - the switching on of the lights, concerts of carols and sacred music, craft markets selling seasonal gifts, street entertainment for shoppers in the city centre - are at the very heart of this celebration.
Everyone enjoys Christmas. I hope that you, too, have a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year.
CLLR THERESA STEWART
LEADER, BIRMINGHAM CITY COUNCIL
The Guardian (UK)
Winterval: the unpalatable making of a modern myth
Tuesday 8 November 2011 14.30 EST
n 1997 Mike Chubb was working for Birmingham city council during the rejuvenation of the city centre. As the council’s head of events he and his team were charged with creating a marketing strategy to cover:
“41 days and nights of activity that ranged from BBC Children in Need, to the Christmas Lights Switch On, to a Frankfurt Christmas Market, outdoor ice rink, Aston Hall by Candlelight, Diwali, shopping at Christmas, world class theatre and arts plus, of course, New Year’s Eve with its massive 100,000 audience.”
Chubb realised that with so many events competing for visitors, marketing them as individual occasions would be expensive, time-consuming and ineffective in acquiring sponsorship or funding. What the events needed, he decided, was a “generic banner under which they could all sit”. His team settled on “Winterval” – a portmanteau of “winter” and “festival”.
Winterval:Blend of ‘winter’ and ‘festival’. A festival that takes place in winter.#aprendeingles
10:01 AM - 2 Apr 2012
There’s a word that has become shorthand for ‘the war on Christmas’ with a side of ‘political correctness gone mad’: Winterval.
It began in November 1998. Newspapers furiously accused Birmingham City Council of renaming Christmas when it ran festive events under the name ‘Winterval’. The council’s then-head of events Mike Chubb explains the true meaning of Winterval.
Posted on December 6, 2016Author Helen Zaltzman
Levi Breederland 🤓
“Winterval” is a portmanteau of “winter” and “festival”, not “interval” http://allusionist.prx.org/2016/12/winterval/ …
6:11 PM - 13 Dec 2016