You are currently viewing Yule

There are many interpretations of when Yule begins and when it ends.
The most common conceptions are that Yule starts at the December Solstice and ends somewhere in the beginning of the new year.

Yule is an old midwinter festival from the Northern Europe regions. Mainly in the Germanic area.
The origin of the name is quite unclear. There are many variations of it in different regions and all of them relate only to this festival.
Yule is the festival that started the traditions of the yule log, the yule ham and singing carols.
In the Scandinavian regions Odin was also called “Yule father” and filled a role somewhat similar to Santa Claus. As Odin had a white beard he was one of the many midwinter figures that inspired the idea of Santa Claus having a white beard.
Odin’s ravens Huginn and Muninn were his helpers that knew if people had been naughty or nice.
Some regions had the Joulupukki as main figure. Actually many still celebrate him.
Joulupukki looks a lot like Santa Claus except he may have been a goat turned human.
He is a bearded old man, wearing red clothing,  giving presents and even rides a sleigh pulled by reindeer.

Many people still celebrate Yule. Either because it stayed a tradition in their region or because they are neo-pagans.
Either way, there is a lot to say at keeping old traditions when they are being told in their old context so we can remember those parts of the history.
When we forget that history or it becomes obsolete, the context is lost and old traditions lose their meaning or gain new ones.
Also, Yule is a lot easier to write than Christmas.

Leave a Reply