How do you celebrate Yule!
In 2021, Yule and Winter Solstice takes place on December 21st in the Northern Hemisphere (June 21st for the Southern Hemisphere).
Yule is celebrated for twelve days, starting on the Winter Solstice. A holiday celebrated for twelve days, now where have I heard that before? During the twelve days of Yule, crops are harvested to make a meal, trees are decorated with pinecones and foliage, candles and gifts are exchanged with love ones.
The Yule Log is also decorated with candles and berries it is later placed on an altar and burned after the event.
The Yule Log was once a whole tree; typically in England this would be Oak. This was brought into the home to be placed unto the hearth (trunk first), before it was then burned continuously throughout the winter to ward off evil spirits and encourage the light to return. Prior to being cut down, the Yule tree would be honoured with decorations of berries or home-made garlands. To celebrate this tradition try burning a log in a firepit or fire, decorating a large branch to sit on your altar, or baking a chocolate representation.
Yule wreaths symbolise the wheel of the year and are typically made from evergreens, moss, nuts, pine cones and berries. They can be hung on doors around the home or given as gifts.
Mistletoe is believed to be lucky for fertility and was often hung above bedposts or worn around the neck or waist of those hoping to conceive. There is also a note of tradition of a man running through a field carrying a burning bough of mistletoe to encourage crop growth. Druids are believed to have harvested it from sacred oak trees taking care to catch it in cloaks before it fell to the ground it was said to lose its powers. Honour the tradition of mistletoe by hanging some in your home an tempting your loved ones to a kiss beneath.