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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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Fave Thing About the Holidays?

  • All the tasty food.
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  • Seeing my friends and family.
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rainbowpoptart
"AlphaT" wrote:Let's get Trumping. Please don't ever say that again. (turns out that's an actual word. your meaning of it is what makes it.. just, no. don't) "AlphaT" wrote:Underground tunneling? Tunnels are used for high profile items or individuals. If you're shipping hundreds of millions worth of contraband over the border every month, or are smuggling in wanted criminals/terrorists, then you dig a tunnel. And while there is much more to do than build a wall in order to stop the flow of contraband, a border wall would curb the mass majority of illegal immigrants flowing into the United States. .."Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."It's not prohibiting the free exercise of Islam to ban Muslim immigration. The Muslims who would be banned would not be in our country, and thus our Constitution would not apply to them. Essentially, it would prohibit the exercise of their religion about as much as it would prohibit the exercise of any other non-American. Now, if we were to deport Muslims simply for being Muslim, then that would violate their right to free exercise. I figured this was where I was flawed. Congratulations, you win. Would you like a cookie? "AlphaT" wrote:Yes, I saw that meme too. Let's just agree that there's a difference between the head of an international real estate conglomerate worth over 10 billion dollars....and Yeezy. But why would I disagree? Maybe both Trump and West have egos bigger than their mansions, but at least Donald knows what he's doing. Kanye's just a bonehead.
reply 20 minutes
LowkeyEli
LowkeyEli posted in Debating:
His wholesale campaign is a joke. Is it really not that obvious? I don't even think he is qualified to be president. I think it's just a distraction.
reply 28 minutes
Pink_Cool_Girl
He obviously does. 
reply 30 minutes
AlphaT
AlphaT posted in Debating:
Let's get Trumping. "rainbowpoptart" wrote: This is the biggest, of the few, problems I have with Trump's thoughts. Illegal immigrants know they're breaking the law by coming into the country without following our policies; they don't just walk over the border like "Hey I'm in the USA now", they come from underground tunnels. The wall isn't going to do anything expect make Mexico's economy even worse, which is going to make more Mexicans not want to live there anymore, thus meaning more are going to want to come into the U.S, then there are going to be even more illegal immigrants. It isn't going to solve the problem, it's going to add to it.   Underground tunneling? Tunnels are used for high profile items or individuals. If you're shipping hundreds of millions worth of contraband over the border every month, or are smuggling in wanted criminals/terrorists, then you dig a tunnel. And while there is much more to do than build a wall in order to stop the flow of contraband, a border wall would curb the mass majority of illegal immigrants flowing into the United States. "rainbowpoptart" wrote: You forgot to mention that a ban on Muslims, even a temporary one, would be against the First Amendment. (: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." It's not prohibiting the free exercise of Islam to ban Muslim immigration. The Muslims who would be banned would not be in our country, and thus our Constitution would not apply to them. Essentially, it would prohibit the exercise of their religion about as much as it would prohibit the exercise of any other non-American.  Now, if we were to deport Muslims simply for being Muslim, then that would violate their right to free exercise.  "rainbowpoptart" wrote: I sincerely hope this doesn't mean you're going to support Kanye West when he runs? Yes, I saw that meme too. Let's just agree that there's a difference between the head of an international real estate conglomerate worth over 10 billion dollars....and Yeezy.  "rainbowpoptart" wrote: Oh, you know how much the media loves bending and twisting people's words, especially his. You're crazy if you think people are going to stop talking about a privileged white man's disliking of something certain minorities do. (:
reply 41 minutes
Pink_Cool_Girl
Pink_Cool_Girl posted in General:
How are you?
reply about 1 hour