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Yule

Dec 23, 2013

Yule or Yuletime was originally an ancient pagan festival that revolved around the lunar calendar for many Germanic people. Yule was intended to cheerily mark the season of the winter solstice (the shortest day and longest night of the year!) This winter festival has lent many of its traditions to our modern celebrations of Christmas and many of the old traditions are still strongly observed in countries like Denmark.

What Do “Yule” Know?

Scholars believe that Yule is a much older holiday than Christmas, although for ancient Scandinavian, Nordic and Germanic people it was still a spiritual time associated with nature where they worshipped nature and hoped for good crops and peace during the year. Some people believe that Yule was connected to an Old Norse folklore called The Wild Hunt, where if the ghosts of huntsmen ride across the night sky and signal a possible plague or misfortune in the communities. Some ancient people also made offerings to the divine mothers, ancient goddesses in control of the crops.

Some scholars say Yule is related to the Old Norse folktale Some scholars say Yule is related to the Old Norse folktale "The Wild Hunt".
 

Yule celebrations typically started in late December and ran until early January. When the Christian calendar was adopted across Europe, it was placed in December 25th and is now considered an alternate way of referring to Christmas.

Yule the World

Even though the majority of people now celebrate Yule as a part of Christmas, there are still people across Europe who stick more closely to Yuletime traditions, and some modern Wiccans prefer to celebrate it as a non-Christian winter holiday.

A traditional Yule log (which is also what the cake is based on).A traditional Yule log (which is also what the cake is based on).
 

Traditions

  • Eating a large meal with friends and family the evening before the big day (just like Christmas eve.) This often involves some more specific food, like a roast, a ham and rice pudding. In Denmark they make rice pudding with cherry sauce and hide an almond inside-finding the almond is lucky!
  • A Yule log, or heavy piece of wood, is burned in the hearth. Yule log also refers to a type of seasonal cake that looks very similar to a dense piece of wood (but is much more delicious).
  • In Finland there is a mythical figure similar to Santa Claus called Joulupukki, or “The Yule Goat”. This old Finnish tradition involves a man dressing in goat hides and going to different houses looking for good children and eating leftovers. He travels in a sleigh pulled by reindeer (sound familiar?)
  • Children go house to house Yule singing (which has now turned into Christmas carolling) for treats like chocolate and oranges in the early days of December.
Have Your Say

What do you think of Yule? Let us know in the comments section below!

 

8 Comments

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  • All the tasty food.
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AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
"JaneDoe2" wrote: You're a Trump fan? Whatever gave it away?
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ThatRandomChick719
(Oops I forgot to censor something earlier. Sorry KW) Section Seven Yoshiki Kishinuma was beyond panicked. He had to tell himself not to scream. He heard the clapping. But... Only two. Something happened to Morishige. He wouldn't mess around at a time like this. "Crap crap crap! MORISHIGE! Where are you?!" Before he could come to his senses, he felt someone tap his shoulder. "There you are, Kishinuma-kun!! Have you seen Suzume?" "H-huh?! Shinohara?" "Mhm! Seiko Shinohara, at your service!" "...What are you going on about? Did Suzumoto come with you...?" "Yeah! She told me Morishige-kun went to look for you. She was worried, and I decided to help her look for you two. So... Where is he?" "...That's what I want to know. Shinohara... Something happened to him." "...H-huh?!" "He was signaling me... But he didn't finish. He was supposed to clap three times, but he only clapped twice." Shinohara's eyes went wide. This couldn't be happening. Morishige, the loner... "...Well, where did he go?!" "Hmm... Over there. Near that trailer." "Let's go, Kishinuma!" "Right." He began to walk in the direction of the trailer. He made sure he was cautious and didn't make a lot of noise. Shinohara followed suit. They made it there after some time passed, and they noticed an insane looking guy standing around. He was tall, wearing black, and holding a bloody knife. "Su... Zu... Mo... To..." His tone then became a sing song. "You're going to regret going in there! Hehehehehehehe." Kishinuma approached the thug and punched him without hesitation. "What... Did you... Just say?!" "Ohoho! It's you! The guy that failed to protect his girlfriend! Yoshiki Kishinuma, right?" "...Shinozaki is not my girlfriend! Where are they? Her. Morishige. And Suzumoto. TELL ME!" "You won't like it. But you can go inside and look for yourself. Heheh... Please, do. I would love to see the look on your face! HAHAHAHAHA!" "...Kizami... What is wrong with you?!" Whatever, that didn't matter. He ignored whatever response Kizami gave and opened a window, and climbed inside. Shinohara was too torn as to what to do, so she stayed behind and ran off. He didn't blame her, though. It was freaky. And at this point... He could handle it on his own. "SHINOZAKI!!! MORISHIGE!!! SUZUMOTO!!!" No response. He decided to fire the big guns. "AYUMI 'CLASS REP' SHINOZAKI! SAKUTARO 'SHIG' MORISHIGE! MAYU 'SUZUME' SUZUMOTO! WHERE ARE YOU, DANG IT?!" He lost all composure and fell to his knees. They were nowhere to be seen... He cried. A lot. "Aww, come on! Don't leave me! That's not cool...!" As he continued wailing protests, he heard a familiar voice scream out. A male. "Kishinuma!!! Where are you...?! AND DON'T CALL ME SAKUTARO OR SHIG! I WILL GET YOU... Ugh..." Ah, Morishige. Kishinuma didn't even care that he was butt hurt. He was relieved to hear his voice. "I'm in this creepy trailer...! Wait! I'll follow the direction of your voice. Just hold on!" "No... Don't...!" Kishinuma didn't listen. He followed Morishige's voice until he reached a dimly lit room. This must be where the light was coming from... On closer inspection, he saw the three people he was looking for. Ayumi was laying across a table, and her eyes were open in horror. Morishige was stuck to a wall. He had cuffs on his wrists and ankles. Suzumoto wasn't trapped, just trying to free him. "Suzumoto! Are you getting it undone?!" "Yeah... Why don't you get the class rep?" Morishige protested. "Mayu, don't say that! Kishinuma... Don't do anything! Let me... Take care of it... Please..." "MORISHIGE! How... HOW COULD YOU SAY THAT?! That's the whole reason I came here! I WILL get her! Understand me?!" "...Kishinuma, I'm being serious! It's... For your own good!" "SHUT UP! I'm tired of your lies!" Morishige continued to protest, but Kishinuma ignored him. He walked over to Shinozaki, and noticed something. She had blood all over her uniform. She was paler than ever... And she didn't say anything. He bent down closer, and noticed she wasn't breathing. "...N-no..." Mayu finally freed Morishige, and they both watched him. "...WHAT DID THEY DO TO YOU... Shinozaki..." Mayu walked over to him. "...Why... Why don't we let Shig handle it?" "..." He didn't say anything else as he ran out of the trailer. He felt tears streaming down his face. Mayu followed him, and it didn't take long for Morishige to retrieve the body and catch up with them.
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Kirsteeeeen
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JaneDoe2
JaneDoe2 posted in Debating:
You're a Trump fan?
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CaptJolee
"ThatRandomChick719" wrote: (Aww thank you!! And probably laziness and stuff XD) (XD)
reply about 2 hours