Friday, December 10


Back in high school, I remember writing a paper about Christmas traditions, where they came from, what they mean, etc.  And I found it to be fascinating.  But the trouble is, now I don't really remember what I wrote.  So I thought it would be cool to revisit all of that, and to share it with you here in posts entitled COOL YULE.  I'm not sure I'll do it every day, and I don't know how many topics I'll cover, but we'll just see how it goes.  Hopefully we'll all enjoy it, maybe even learn a few things...  

I have never really understood "the yule log."  What the heck is a "yule" anyway?  Isn't it just a piece of firewood?  Well, apparently it is, and originally it had nothing to do with Christmas, but rather the Winter Solstice (December 21). 

The Norse celebrated winter as a Feast of the Dead, with ceremonies full of spirits, devils, the Norse god Odin and his night riders.  One festival in particular was "Jol" (a.k.a "Jule" and pronounced "yule") - this was a huge feast.  In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs (or trees), which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.  The Yule Log was believed to bring beneficial magic and was kept burning for at least twelve hours and sometimes as long as twelve days.  The ashes that remained from the sacred Yule Log were scattered over fields to bring fertility, or cast into wells to purify and sweeten the water. When the fire of the Yule Log was finally quenched, a small fragment of the wood would be saved and used to light the next year's log, thereby bringing prosperity and protection from evil all year long.

Of course, if you don't have a fireplace, you could just make one to eat...

Info gathered from:


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