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Yule

Yule celebrates the Winter Solstice and occurs somewhere between the 19th and 23rd of December in the Northern Hemisphere (June 19-23 in the Southern Hemisphere).

Season of Reflection and Hope

Yule marks the end of the seasonal wheel and the beginning of the next year.   It is here in the deepest, coldest and darkest days of winter that we look back on the happy points of the previous year and think ahead to the coming sunshine and warmth of the new year.

Modern Interpretation

For those unfamiliar with the tradition of the Yule Log, it all actually begins back in the Spring, when a nice piece of green wood from an oak, ash or yew tree is set aside on the mantle.   During the high points of the year (births, graduations, promotions, weddings, etc.) a ribbon is tied to the Yule log along with a memento of the joyful event such as a flower, a card or photo.  This process continues throughout the year and into the Winter Solstice - the shortest day (amount of sunlight) and the longest night of the year.  At this dark and depressing low point, when all the plants outside are dormant and covered with snow with a chill in the air, it is easy to feel sad.  But Yule fixes that feeling!  Traditionally the Yule Log is set ablaze at the culmination of a grand feast.  While it burns we reflect on all the good things that happened in the past year (represented by all the tokens tied with ribbons) and express gratitude.  We also feel the heat and warmth of the fire and are reminded that even though today is the shortest darkest day of the year, beginning tomorrow the days start getting a little bit longer again.  Before we know it, it will be Summer again and that heat we're feeling from our Yuletide fire will be coming from our blazing Sun!




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