Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yule Logs & The Twelve Days of Christmas

The Twelve Days
of Christmas

The twelve Days of Christmas, although now largely associated with Christian rituals, date back to the pagan Yuletide feast of northern Europe. This was held at the time of the winter solstice and lasted 12 days. The origins of Yuletide itself lay in prehistoric days when, to encourage the dying sun to new life, primitive peoples lit bonfires to give the sun light and warmth.

No one knows when Yule logs were first ceremoniously carried into Norsemen's dwellings, but from the Middle Ages the custom was well established in northern Europe. A huge log chosen, from a forest tree was dragged home and decorated with greenery and ribbons. After it was dried, it was burned over the 12 days of Yuletide: Nordic people believed that this had a magical effect in helping the sun to shine brightly. But some part of the log was always kept for the following year not only to kindle a new Yule log but also to keep away evil spirits.

The Little Book of christmas
Jennifer Mulherin

Happy Wednesday....hope you have all your presents wrapped!



Micki said...

A lovely post! Merry Christmas!

ChaChaneen said...

Merry Christmas Mumzie! Have a wonderful day with your family and friends & blessings to you and your precious family!

Susan at Charm of the Carolines said...

Wanted to let you know I discovered Joanne's "A Better Me" challenge a year too late, so I'm starting my own. You are welcome to join us if you like.

Happy New Year!