Blue laws in the United States
Blue laws in the United States vary by state. Blue laws are laws designed to enforce religious standards.Many states prohibit selling alcoholic beverages for on- and off-premises sales in one form or another on Sundays at some restricted time, under the rationale that people should be in church on Sunday morning, or at least not drinking.Another feature of blue laws restricts the purchase of particular items on Sundays which is an unusual feature in modern American culture. Some of these laws restrict the ability to buy cars, groceries, office supplies and housewares among other things. Though most of these laws have been relaxed or repealed in most states, they are strictly enforced in some other states.Some states prohibit hunting in various degrees on Sundays.Blue laws may also prohibit retail activity on days other than Sunday. Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maine currently prohibit most retail stores, including grocery stores, from opening on Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is the opposite of early laws in Puritan New England, tracking changes in religious opinion; Christmas celebrations were banned in Puritan colonies during part of the 1600s, and the holiday was not widely culturally celebrated until the 1850s (see Christmas in Puritan New England).