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Yule

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Yule

Postby sluggo » Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:23 am

Yule
Middle English yol, from Old English geōl; akin to Old Norse jōl (M-W)

Proper Noun; Scandinavian festival of the Solstice and the attendant returning sunlight and fertility

The Yule tradition required a log of freshly cut (or gifted- never purchased) wood, preferably Ash or Oak, with Spruce or Pine also acceptable) brought into the house with ceremony, dressed in evergreens, holly and mistletoe and mulled wine and lit on Christmas Eve, ideally with a piece of last year's log saved for this purpose. Failing to light the Yule log on the first attempt was a forecast of bad luck for the year. Once lit, carols were sung, feasting commenced and all had the chance to cast their bad tidings and mistakes of the year into the fire, thus starting the new year afresh. Ashes from the Log were placed at plant roots and cattle fodder as a fertility charm- the Viagra of its time.

Image

The Yule season ran for weeks, straddling the actual solstice date, and probably served as an antidote for cabin fever in those northern latitudes. From its anciently rich accouterments are said to pass the seasonal traditions of caroling, lighted and decorated trees, exchanging gifts and possibly the wassail bowl (there's another poignantly apropos seasonal entry).

More general background on English/Euro traditions here
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Postby Slava » Mon Sep 05, 2011 8:42 pm

Given the holiday treatment here, with a few extra words in the subject line.

As my local grocery store is already putting out Thanksgiving stuff, it can't be all that early to give a bump to this word, too, eh?
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