Yule is a Pagan holiday and is one of the oldest winter celebrations observed around the world. For example, people in Australia might opt to celebrate Yule — and Christmas, for that matter — between the 21st and 23rd of June. English: Thor said: tell me, Alvísby the fate of all families. However, the sun cross is not just found on the runestones. The word Yule (Old Norse: Jól) is actually plural, and it literally means parties. Here are a few rituals you may want to think about trying—and remember, any of them can be adapted for either a solitary practitioner or a small group, with just a little planning ahead. Compromise! The name Yule is derived from the Old Norse HJOL, meaning 'wheel,' to identify the moment when the wheel of the year is at its lowest point, ready to rise again. While I have drawn in part from traditional European customs, this is in no way a reconstructionist effort. Interested in learning about some of the traditions behind contemporary holiday celebrations? Yule, The Midwinter Solstice. And I wanted to give you a list of 10 ways to tap into the more traditional aspects of the Winter Solstice, that are all super doable! Þórbjörn Hornklofi Haraldskvæði 6, 1-4, English: (NOTICE: Translated in context of the source) He wants to drink Yule out at sea, if he alone should rule, the brave King, and practice the sport of Freyr. Snow Magic. I asked myself these questions before I began my journey down through the rabbit hole. 7 Simple Ways to Celebrate Yule and the Winter Solstice This Season. Celebrating on the eve before Christmas is also used for most other holidays in Denmark. Many Pagans of different faiths choose to celebrate Yule proper on this day regardless of the actual solar event. You don’t have to be a Wiccan or Witch to celebrate Yule; it’s a holiday that reflects the changing seasons, so anyone can celebrate Yule. Nothing says holiday celebration quite like getting together with the people you love. Nothing says Yule like a Yule log. Settle in, breathe deeply, relax, and feel the unique magic of the Winter Solstice, when the light, bright, expansive half of the year is reborn. However, he did decide to travel to Trøndelagen in Norway and participate in the event. Ask if you can offer a Yuletime prayer after the Christian Christmas Story has been told. ... Wendi: My husband is a nurse, so he is usually working on the actual holidays that most Americans celebrate; and since our “Holy Days” can fall on different … One source that has described the society within Scandinavia in the Viking age, was the Icelandic author named Snorri Sturluson. This is an important detail to be aware off, just imagine if everything we knew about the Natives of America was only written down by the settlers, hundreds of years later. These numbers do seem a bit exaggerated to be honest, and there are no other sources about this event, that can either confirm or deny it. The people needed to know when to sow and reap, it is not like a continent such as Africa, where you can pick berries from the trees all year round, and hang out on the beach. You can swear an oath for anything that you want, however, other pagans could punish you, if you broke the oath. Find out why mistletoe is so special, and which ancient revelers went caroling naked in the streets! At Yule/Christmas celebrate being with family and loved ones regardless of the reason. Christmas is a Christian celebration that begins on December 1st and ends on January 6th. If this was indeed the method that the pagans used is uncertain, but it could explain why the time of the celebration would vary so much in the sources. Yule is the modern version of the Old English words ġēol or ġēohol and ġēola or ġēoli, with the former indicating the 12-day festival of "Yule" (later: "Christmastide") and the latter indicating the month of "Yule", whereby ǣrra ġēola referred to the period before the Yule festival (December) and æftera ġēola referred to the period after Yule (January). By Got Questions The Christmas classic “Deck the Halls” contains the line “Troll the ancient yuletide carol” (to troll is to sing in a joyful or celebratory manner). Some believe that animals were sacrificed, others are convinced that it was humans. Icelandic: Úti vill jól drekka, ef skal einn ráða, fylkir hinn framlyndi, ok Freys leik heyja. Before I dig further into the meat of this article about Yule, it is important to understand where the sources are from. Take a walk through the local park and feel Nature’s dormant energy around you. We do not know how exactly the pagans cooked the pork, but in most of the Danish homes today, the pork is roasted, we call it flæskesteg in Danish. This ‘Winter Solstice’ themed event will give you a lot of fun stuff to do. However, if you did not keep your oath, it could have serious consequences. But what does Yule actually observe? Jul … Drinking large amounts of mead, and eating meat from animal sacrifices, does indeed seem to have been the main part of a successful Yule celebration, at least it was so when the society was mainly pagans. Present-day this heathen/pagan faith is known as Ásatrú. The farmers told the King to make sacrifices (Old Norse: blóta) to the Gods, and if he refused, it would cost him dearly. The winter traditions spread across the continent of Europe when the people traveled either for trading, raiding or exploring. Christmas (Swedish: jul, IPA: ()) is celebrated throughout December and traditionally until St. Knut's Day on January 13. THE ANCIENT YULE FESTIVITIES The old myths reveal that the people of ancient Scandinavia and Iceland turned to the goddesses, gods, ancestors, and spirits for guidance through the darkness and cold to yet another season of light and warmth. As much as we all love the holiday season of building up to Yule, it can also be quite tiring. And is Yule held on the winter solstice? The Slavic peoples to the east also have their own version of a winter festival called Koliada. It is a celebration of rebirth. It is liked a blurred image, we can see something, but we are not quite sure what we see. It's mostly just a fun way to honor the gods and wights during one of the holiest times on the Heathen calendar. What could be better than the winter solstice which is the shortest day of the year, and always falls on either the 21st or 22nd of December. How To Celebrate Yule and Winter Solstice and Activities. Where does it come from and why a Yule Log – literally a wooden log to burn or in cake form! Swearing an oath for the coming year was also practiced by the Babylonians. In that way, winter solstice would always be in the first Yule month, and the Yule sacrifice (jólablót) would always be celebrated on the first full moon following the new moon past winter solstice. How to use yuletide in a sentence. Depending on your particular tradition, there are many different ways you can celebrate the Solstice season. Before we can understand what Yule is about, we need to look at the meaning of the word. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year. the longest night of the year. Focus on this time of new beginnings with your magical workings! However, there are examples that the Jarls and successful merchants gave presents in the Yule month to their friends, family, and other people that were important to them. At this point of the year, the sun is at its lowest point in the horizon at noon, and the period of daylight is at its shortest. At the blót, sacrifices are made by either pouring out a drink as an offering, or sacrificing an animal, and eating its meat.”. Yule, also known as Yuletide, does have many commonalities to Christmas. The 2nd Yule month starts at the first new full moon which is on January 13th and ends on the 28th of January 2021 at the full moon. Yule is celebrated for … Where does Yule originate from? Well, it is, and it isn’t. She is the author of Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch, Wicca Practical Magic and The Daily Spell Journal. The two tribes Angles and Saxons also brought these traditions with them when they migrated to the British isles. While many of us might think that the New Years Resolution is a modern tradition, where we make promises to ourselves under the influence of alcohol, it is actually not. Yule in the Northern Hemisphere falls between December … After all, it is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and having a festival to celebrate the return of the sun would make perfect sense. Since most people were farmers, it was important to know the path of the sun, especially when you live in a harsh environment. A good Yule is not without a sacrifice, or is it? In 1075, the German medieval chronicler Adam of Bremen wrote about a Yule ritual that took place in the Viking age, in the village called Uppsala in Sweden. Winter Solstice (sometimes referred to as Yule or Midwinter) has been revered by many different people and cultures for thousands of years. Christians celebrate the birth of Christ at this time of year, and Yule is connected to the joy at the birth of the Sun God, child of the Goddess. Offer a Blot to the Gods. If the annual Yule festival would have changed its original name to Christmas, it would probably have been called Kristmesse in Danish. The people would then celebrate a party about 20 days after the winter solstice, and this would be the biggest party held by the natives at Thule.”. Finally, the cups were raised in the honor of their ancestors who rested in the mounds. King Haakon the Good who was a Christian probably wanted to use his influence to replace the pagan Yule celebration with Christmas, and moving the date could have been the first step. We are often of the belief that the knowledge is lost, however, this is not necessarily the case. The first theory describes Yule or Jól (pronounciation: “yoh-l”) as a celebration for the return of the sun. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year (this year it falls on 21st Dec). The blood from the dead animals was collected in bowls and then sprinkled (most likely by a Völva, someone who practiced shamanism or witchcraft) on the altars, walls, and the participants by using sacrificial twigs. Surviving the Holidays with Your Non-Pagan Family, Ten Things to Hang on a Pagan Holiday Tree. Many of the ancient Indo European traditions, celebrations, and rituals that connected our ancestors together have for a long time been hidden away from us, like an old forest full of trees with intertwined roots beneath the surface. Yule is a Germanic Winter festival which was celebrated on the Winter solstice and ran for approximately 2 months. The King of Norway, Haakon the Good was expected to participate in the annual Yule sacrifice (Old Norse: Jólablót) with the farmers. English: Alvís said: It is called ’Moon’ among men, ’Mild Light’ among gods, In Hel ’The spinning wheel’ ’Quick’ among jotnar, ’Skin’ among dwarfs, ’Teller of time’ among elves. Christmas Eve, Juleaften, the main event of Jul, is celebrated on the evening of December 24, the evening before the two Christmas holidays, December 25 and 26th. Ten ways to Celebrate Yule. It is a celebration of rebirth. A fixed date for joining the lunar year and the solar year into a lunisolar calendar. Yule is an ancient pagan festival celebrating the rebirth of the Sun God and takes place on the winter solstice. The biggest day is on Jesus’s birthday, which is held on either the 24th after sundown or 25th of December. Embrace the cold by building a snowman, making snow angels, go snowboarding or ice skating. Yuletide is the pre-Christian Germanic Midwinter celebration. He was an author that has become very famous for writing down the stories and traditions from the people of Scandinavia, however, many of these stories was written down almost 200 years after the Viking age ended. The Yule tree decorations also represented the souls of the departed who we remember at the end of the year. In ancient Rome, the winter solstice was celebrated at the Feast of Saturnalia, to honor Saturn, the god of agricultural bounty. In today’s language, Yule is simply the feast celebrating the birth of Christ; Yuletide is the Christmas season. A feast for the ravens could be considered an offering to the pagan god Odin. A new cup was filled, Skól (in Danish: Skål) to Njord (Old Norse: Njörðr) and Freyr for good years and peace. On Yule we experience the longest night of the year. the longest night of the year. ”Blót is a pagan ceremonial offering, held in honor of the Ancestors, Gods, and Spirits. Many of the old ways are simply hidden, in a network of puzzles, poems, and misconceptions. The Yule oath is an oath that is made during Yuletide, for instance, at the Yule sacrifice (Jólablót). The German bishop Thietmar of Merseburg (c. 975 – 1080), wrote in the 11th century that the biggest Yule feast was held in January in the village of Lejre in Denmark, and not on the winter solstice, however, no exact date was mentioned. was brought into the home to burn for the entire 12 days of Christmas. Jolablot is also part of the Google AdSense program that is designed to advertise and referring traffic to other sites. After all, that is when the shortest day is on that side of the planet. The pagan Yule celebration begins at the winter solstice on Monday 21th of December 2020. However, while the sun was important to the people of the North, they were not obsessed with the sun. A Yule wreath also appeared in the Yule celebration. Yuletide definition is - the Christmas season : christmastide —often used before another noun. The Norwegian King Olav Tryggvason was also not that pleased with the pagan blóts, and he actually forbid the practice of blót and their drinking feasts. It could have been because it made it easier, to convince the pagans to become Christians since the winter celebration with plenty of food and mead continued. While many aspects of the story of Jesus’ birth are celebrated at the Yule season, remnants of the original feasts and celebrations also show up in many Christmas carols and traditions. ”Around the time of the winter solstice, the sun is never to been seen on this island for forty days, but the eternal night encloses it. The poem also tells us that drinking was a big part of Yule, a tradition that is not really practiced anymore at Yule. Holiday season has arrived in the world of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and the Vikings are celebrating! Although much of the winter's harshest weather is still ahead of us, we celebrate the coming light, and thank the Gods for seeing us through the longest night. When those men barely can see the sun from that point, they return to the village with the message, that within five days the sun will shine on them again. Yule: Winter Solstice - Dec 21st/22nd. 1. The yule period begins with the Arra Geola moon, which grows full in late November or the first few weeks of December, and the season then continues for two lunar months. The Norse peoples, who called it Jul, viewed it as a time for much feasting and merrymaking. Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy. The Magical Colors of Yule. Hjol has been inherited by Germanic and Scandinavian languages from a pre-Indo-European language level, and is a direct reference to the return of the Sun represented as a fiery wheel … What is a successful yule celebration without Yule presents? There is a difference between Yule and Christmas. Or, if you don’t have a fireplace or a workspace to make one, light candles instead. In Denmark about 50% eat duck and pork, pagans did not eat duck, but they definitely did eat pork at Yule. It was made from an oak tree and it was found at Pilkmosen in Give, Denmark. This was not something that the King was particular fond about, because of his Christian faith. Enjoy the holiday lights. The pagan Gods and Goddesses that are often associated with the Vikings and Scandinavia today, has a broader origin. The people who lived in Scandinavia prior to the Christification did not write their traditions down on paper, but instead their, religion, stories, and traditions were passed down orally from the parents to their children. In pre-Christian Scandinavia, the Feast of Juul, or Yule, lasted for 12 days celebrating the rebirth of the sun and giving rise to the custom of burning a Yule log. Celebrating Yule these days is definitely different than celebrating Christmas, though, for sure. Each day after the winter solstice, the days will grow gradually longer as the sun’s path arcs higher and higher in the sky. Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate Yule. Yule is the time to celebrate the rebirth of the light after the very darkest part of the year. Today this family seems to be most known for one name in the media, which is Ragnar Lodbrok (Old Norse: Ragnarr Loðbrók), who was one of these Scyldingas. The word is therefore not referring to one single party or one event, but to several Yule celebrations that most likely took place between the winter solstice and the Yule Sacrifice (Old Norse: Jólablót). Ancient people were hunters and spent most of their time outdoors. Yule changes dates within a specific three-day period every year, whereas Christmas is on the same day every year. As you probably can see, this line is written in a poetic style, but its context matters if we want to understand its meaning. Yule, otherwise known as the Winter Solstice, is a pagan holiday that marks the longest night of the year. Since Yule is about several parties and not just one, all three theories could, in theory, be true. Yule is also known as Alban Arthan and was one of the “Lesser Sabbats” of the Wiccan year in a time when ancient believers celebrated the rebirth of the Sun God and days with more light. In addition, if the Icelandic sagas are to be believed, this was a time of sacrifice as well. According to the researcher Andreas Nordberg (2006, Jul, disting och förkyrklig tideräkning), to make up for the 11 days that were lost with the lunar calendar, the Nordic people may have used a leap year every third year, by inserting a 13th month around the time of the summer solstice. See more. As some people suffer in the months of darkness and are affected by the lack of sunshine, what better way to lift spirits than to have a lovely celebration to look forward to. I'm Pagan - Can I Still Have a Holiday Tree? The Lay of Alvís, 13,14 (Alvíssmál). Historically, the burning of the yule log was a Nordic tradition, where a whole tree (not just a log!) In essence, it is the symbolic end of the cold and dark winter and the return of light. There are many rumors flooding around, that claims that the pagans made offerings during their Yule celebration. The Norse used a lunar calendar to count time, but there is a very big problem with using the moon to calculate time, because it only takes 354 days to complete 12 lunar cycles. In modern times, this holiday has been reformulated by Christians and renamed Christmastide. Who is known under many names, including ”the raven god”. For people of nearly any religious background, the time of the winter solstice is a time when we gather with family and loved ones. Offer a blot to the gods this solstice. Then many of the participants at the blót emptied their cup and made personal promises of great accomplishments. The people of the North are the people of ice and fire, living there means to prepare, innovate and adapt, and the sun was definitely part of that. 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