There are 350 products facing restrictions at the popular market, including crucifixes which must be referred to as ‘JC crosses’Strasbourg accused of ‘wokeism’ for limiting sale of crucifixes at famed Christmas market
Strasbourg’s Greens have been accused of mounting an “idiotic wokeist” bid to airbrush Jesus out of its famed 500-year old Christmas market by limiting the sale of crucifixes and insisting they be called “JC crosses”.
The “dogmatic” restrictions have been imposed by a “special selection committee” from the Town Hall created to maintain the “authenticity” of the market dubbed France’s Christmas capital, which attracts 2 million visitors per year.
To stop it being turned into what they described as a consumerist “amusement park”, the Greens-ruled committee has drawn up a list of 350 products facing restrictions.
Among them are crucifixes, which can now only be sold if they are European and referred to as “JC crosses”.
The rules sparked mockery among the political opposition in the eastern French city, which is home to the European parliament.
“This is idiotic wokeism,” fumed Socialist councillor Anne-Pernelle Richardot.
“Has Jesus Christ become a swearword?” asked Alain Fontanel, councillor with Renaissance, President Emmanuel Macron’s parliamentary alliance.
“Perhaps we should no longer name the man behind Christmas,” he added, mocking Strasbourg’s ruling Greens as “self-styled good taste police.”
“By wanting to control everything for Christmas, the municipality has tripped up on its own prejudices and ideology.”
“Are they going to unbaptise the [market]?” asked Pierre Jakubowicz, councillor with the centre-Right Horizons group launched by Mr Macron’s former prime minister Edouard Philippe.
Other items on the banned list include champagne in favour of local sparkling wine and popular Alpine cheese dishes raclette and tartiflette to allow local cheeses, notably Munster, to take pride of place. Also forbidden is popcorn, Christmas boots, umbrellas and ponchos.
Defending the restrictions, Strasbourg deputy mayor Guillaume Libsig, who is on the commission, said the list added “credibility to the event”.
He said the main concern over crucifixes was not their name but their provenance. The aim was to ban Chinese and other foreign-made ones in favour of quality local-manufactured crosses.
“The priority is to have ones that are dignified and good quality, made in Europe and not arriving in containers from Asia,” he said. “Promoting savoir-faire and authenticity are paramount.”
He insisted that the list had been drawn up “democratically” by the committee’s 15 members who include elected officials, stallholders and locals.
“The aim is to have better-quality items. There was some sorting to do,” said Eric Bodein, a food stall holder on the committee.
First held in 1570, the Strasbourg Christkindelsmärik is famous for its huge Christmas Tree, illuminations, pretty wooden chalets, bredele cakes and mulled wine. Christmas is a touchy subject when it comes to French Greens.
In 2020, Pierre Hurmic, the newly elected Green mayor of Bordeaux, announced he would no longer put up a giant annual Christmas tree as he wanted no “dead trees on the town square”. The opposition cried scandal. A poll showed that 79 per cent of French people disapproved.