Yuletide
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YULE

The custom of burning the Yule Log goes back to, and before, medieval times. It was originally a Nordic tradition. Yule is the name of the old Winter Solstice festivals in Scandinavia and other parts of northern Europe, such as Germany.

The Yule Log was originally an entire tree, that was carefully chosen and brought into the house with great ceremony. The largest end of the log would be placed into the fire hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room! The log would be lit from the remains of the previous year's log which had been carefully stored away and slowly fed into the fire through the Twelve Days of Christmas. It was considered important that the re-lighting process was carried out by someone with clean hands. Nowadays, of course, most people have central heating so it is very difficult to burn a tree!
DATABASES
The custom of burning the Yule Log goes back to, and before, medieval times. It was originally a Nordic tradition. Yule is the name of the old Winter Solstice festivals in Scandinavia and other parts of northern Europe, such as Germany.

The Yule Log was originally an entire tree, that was carefully chosen and brought into the house with great ceremony. The largest end of the log would be placed into the fire hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room! The log would be lit from the remains of the previous year's log which had been carefully stored away and slowly fed into the fire through the Twelve Days of Christmas. It was considered important that the re-lighting process was carried out by someone with clean hands. Nowadays, of course, most people have central heating so it is very difficult to burn a tree!
The Yule log, Yule clog, or Christmas block is a specially selected log burnt on a hearth as a Christmas tradition in regions of Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, and subsequently North America. The origin of the folk custom is unclear. Like other traditions associated with Yule (such as the Yule boar), the custom may ultimately derive from Germanic paganism.
As the Wheel of the Year turns once more, the days get shorter, the skies become gray, and it seems as though the sun is dying. In this time of darkness, we pause on the Solstice and realize that something wonderful is happening. It's usually around December 21 — unless you're in the southern hemisphere, where it falls in June — but it's not always on the same date. At Yule, the sun stops its decline into the south. For a few days, it seems as though it’s rising in exactly the same place… and then something amazing and miraculous takes place. The light begins to return.

The sun begins its journey back to the north, and once again we are reminded that we have something worth celebrating. In families of all different spiritual paths, the return of the light is celebrated, with Menorahs, Kwanzaa candles, bonfires, and brightly lit Christmas trees. On Yule, many Pagan and Wiccan families celebrate the return of the sun by adding light into their homes. One very popular tradition — and one that children can do easily — is to make a Yule log for a family-sized celebration.
One of the things that makes Christmas in Iceland very different from most other Western countries is the absence of a Santa Claus: In his place we have 13 Yule lads.

The Yule lads appear in old stories and folk tales. Historically the Yule lads and the other Christmas spirits were far meaner and more evil, but beginning in the 18th century and then especially during the 19th century they become more gentle. A 18th century royal decree about religious practice and domestic discipline parents were banned from disciplining their children by scaring them with horror stories of monsters like the Yule lads.
Yule logs are such a classic Christmas dessert...when you think about it, it really is such a magical dessert. It's crazy to think that you can bake a cake, fill it with a sweet filling, roll it up, frost it, and make it look like a gorgeous woodland log straight out of a fairy tale.

Recipes for yule logs date back to the 1600s, but were popularized in French bakeries during the 19th century (where they get their other common name, Bûche de Noël). Many of these lovely Christmas cakes are garnished with elaborate meringue mushrooms or other edible woodland creatures, but you’ll love the simplicity of this one.
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