Yule: It’s actually a plural Germanic word and means “parties”. It originated from an old Norse word, jol, meaning wheel that symbolizes time, which has come full circle and now starts again, as in a never-ending cycle.

The Yule festival is a pagan holiday that begins at the winter solstice (i.e. shortest day of the year, right around December 21st), and lasts for several days. It was a winter festival celebrated by the Vikings. The Yule festival celebrates the winter solstice and the gradually lengthening days of increased sunlight.

(picture from the 2019 winter solstice celebration)

In the fourth century, the church decided to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ during this time with a 12-day feast called the Epiphany. It coincided with the pagan holiday of Yule. As many of you know, many of our present-day Christmas customs come from secular celebrations. Here is one example: Yule is about turning to the vegetation that seemed to survive the terrifying disappearance of the sun and using it to honor the gods and nature to make sure that the sun would return. This is why people use evergreens, holly, pinecones, etc. in decorations.

Each of the 12 days of Yule are devoted to one aspect of the holiday. To learn more about each of these, this is a good book on the subject: Yule: Rituals, Recipes & Lore for the Winter Solstice by Susan Pesznecker.

We are more alike than we are different.

While there are many different types of celebrations during this time of year. (Some are religious, some not.) There are many similarities between them. Here’s some of what they have in common.

They represent:

A time of reflection; A time of rebirth;

A time of renewed faith;

A recognition of the dark, and A triumph of the light;

A time of coming together; and

A time for giving thanks.

Happy Holidays 2022

from Creating Your Health.