A very happy Yule to you all!
We sang "In the Bleak Midwinter" "Here we go a Wassailing" and "The Holly and the Ivy" while standing around the fire with a glass of wine. It ought to have been mulled wine, but someone forgot the spice... oops!
Yule is a most ancient tradition: it begins with Winter Solstice, for it is the longest night of the
year, and much celebration was to be had as the ancestors awaited the
rebirth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life that warmed
the frozen Earth and made her ready to bear forth new life from seeds protected
through the fall and winter in her womb. Bonfires were lit in the
fields, and crops and trees were "wassailed" with toasts of spiced
But if Yule begins on the 21st, how come I still celebrate on the 25th? On December 22nd the sun makes it to the lowest point in the sky and
stops traveling south. During the three darkest days of the year (22nd,
23rd, 24th) the sun does not travel south or north and appears to stand
still as if it had died for the three days. On December 25th the sun
starts moving north again foreshadowing longer days and the ‘coming
back to life’ notion of spring. From this came many pagan legends of
savior Sun gods being born and reborn on December 25th.
There are many variations described from different countries throughout history and of course many ideas and traditions have developed since. However and for whatever reason you celebrate at this time of year, I wish much joy to you and your kin. Jenny x