Yule is observed on the day of the Winter Solstice.

Also known as Jul, Yule predates the Christmas holiday by thousands of years. There is some debate as to the origin of the word Yule. Some linguists suggest the word is derived from “Iul”, the Anglo-Saxon word for wheel. This makes a connection to a Celtic calendar, the Wheel of the Year. In the Norse culture, “Jul” refers to the god, Odin. Odin was celebrated during Yule as well.

Yule celebrations included bonfires, decorating with holly, mistletoe and the boughs of evergreen trees, ritual sacrifices, feasts and gift giving.

Do you recognize any Christmas traditions borrowed from Yule?

  • The Yule midwinter feast usually lasted 12 days.

  • Vikings would decorate evergreen trees with gifts such as food, carvings, and food for the tree spirits to encourage them to return in the spring.

  • Mistletoe combined with a mother’s tears resurrected her son, the God of Light and Goodness, in a Viking myth. The Celts believe Mistletoe possessed healing powers as well and would ward off evil spirits.

  • In Norse tradition, Old Man Winter visited homes to join the festivities. The Viking god, Odin was described as a wanderer with a long white beard and is considered the first Father Christmas.

  • Viking children would leave their shoes out by the hearth on the eve of the winter solstice with sugar and hay for Odin’s eight-legged horse, Sleipnir.

  • Children would traipse from house to house with gifts of apples and oranges spiked with cloves and resting in baskets lined with evergreen boughs.

  • The Yule log was a whole tree meant to be burned for 12 days in the hearth. The Celts believed the sun stood still during the winter solstice. They thought by keeping the Yule log burning for these 12 days encouraged the sun to move, making the days longer. The largest end would be fed into the hearth, wine poured over it, and it would be lit with the remains of the previous year’s Yule log. Everyone would take turns feeding the length of timber into the fire as it burned. Letting it burn out would bring bad luck


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While the winter solstice is observed around the world, Yule was celebrated primarily by Germanic cultures of northern and western Europe. The midpoint of winter was a time to celebrate the rebirth of the sun and the light it would bring to the earth.

This post originally published to https://nationaldaycalendar.com/yule-day-of-winter-solstice/



David Ramsey

David Ramsey is an Intuitive Healer committed to helping individuals and communities thrive in health and vitality. His experience in the healing fields spans over two decades with over 2,500 hours of training professionally. The journey began with an introduction into conscious awareness of language patterns through NLP in 1999. David realized then that we hold those patterns in our bodies and began trainings in Massage Therapy, Zen Shiatsu, Five Element Theory, Intuitive Healing and Energetic Medicine to help individuals release those inhibiting patterns. David’s studies led to an even deeper examination of Consciousness and inquiry into our Belief Systems and how we can create and dis-create our beliefs at will to create a happier more joy full life.

David’s expertise and passion lies in assisting release of chronic concerns and issues on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels. His approach to personal and professional growth is threefold in Body, Mind, & Spirit. When your body feels good your mind is free to create, and when your mind is free to create, you spirit can soar!

“Each person walks a path. My aim is to honor that path and help them expand the awareness of who they are to release Physical, Emotional, and Spiritual disharmonies. My hope and desire is to inspire people and help them experience joy in their life more often than not.” – David

David’s Certifications include: Graduated Phoenix Therapeutic Massage Collage (1993), Usui Reiki and Terra Mai Reiki Master Teacher (1993), Bachelors in Religious Studies from Arizona State University (1999), Graduated Zen Shiatsu School with added focus in Five Element Chinese Medical Theory (2003), Certificate in NLP (1989), Completed Avatar Master Training (2005) and Certified in Energetic Medicine through Victoria Merkle School of Energetic Medicine (2010).