Local authorities should celebrate Christmas in the traditional Christian way and stop worrying about the PC brigade, said Communities Secretary Eric Pickles.
He hit out at “politically correct Grinches” and called for an end to “Christianophobia”.
Mr Pickles said councils should stop introducing ‘politically correct’ versions of Christmas such as “Winterval”, which combines secular and inter-faith religious elements.
The Communities Secretary called for councils to take pride in British Christian heritage by celebrating the nativity and all the traditions surrounding it.
He said: “We should actively celebrate the Christian basis of Christmas, and not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christianity and the importance of the birth of Christ”.
“The war on Christmas is over, and the likes of Winterval, Winter Lights and Luminous deserve to be in the dustbin of history.
“We live in tough financial times, but there’s no need for town halls to play Scrooge.
“It is in councils’ financial interests to draw in shoppers to town centres, given the benefits of packed car parks to councils’ coffers. Shoppers want to see Christmas lights, Christmas trees, carol services and nativity scenes.”
John Midgely, founder of the Campaign Against Political Correctness, welcomed Mr Pickles’ message.
“What a breath of fresh air from the minister, taking on all those who have been pushing political correctness over the years,” he said.
“It is absolutely right in our country that Christmas should be celebrated and it does not cause offence to other religions.
“This is a strong message for the dull bureaucrats who have tried to undermine our traditions.”
Last week Rochdale Council attracted criticism after it decided to celebrate Eid and Diwali alongside Christmas in a display of lights.
Although the Muslim and Hindu festivals have already passed, the lights are being kept up to “represent the community”.
Conservative MP Philip Davies blasted the news saying: “Local authorities are obsessed with not offending anyone. It’s ridiculous that Christianity is being sidelined.
“All this pussyfooting around is done in the name of not offending people from other faiths. But it tends to be done by white middle-class people with some kind of bizarre guilt complex.”
A Rochdale Council spokesman said: “We have a varied and diverse display, representing our community.”
The non-Christmas lights are expected to be taken down imminently.
In Bradford city centre, a “Happy Eid” sign shines alongside trees, swans, moons and stars in a display costing £186,900, which also wishes shoppers “Happy Christmas”.
The streets of Tooting, South London, are decorated with illuminated images of candles, palm trees and other decorative flourishes to celebrate Diwali.
A council spokesman said: “It is a multicultural display, reflecting the different religions that are present in Tooting.”