Yule Log

Yule Log

Unlock the hidden secrets of the Yule Log

Burning a traditional yule log is a very old tradition which started even before the first Christmas was celebrated. How was it done?

The superstition was that no-one did work when the Yule log burns. The burning was accompanied by friends and family gathering together with neighbors for storytelling and songs, romances and dances while feasting and having all sorts of fun.

The History Behind The Yule Log

In the beginning, the burning of the Yule log was carried out in the winter months during the celebrations of the Solstice. It used to run for several weeks. That was in Scandinavia, where during those weeks, the days started early during the winter period that followed the dark days of the Solstice.

The Traditions Of The Yule Log

There was a lot of tradition tied to the Christmas Yule log celebrations. The name is derived from the Scandinavian tradition, but the burning of a log during winter time in solstice was a practice which was carried out in Ireland, the south of Greece up to as North as Siberia.

How It Was Integrated Into Christmas?

It all started when Pope Julius existed in the 4th century. He celebrated Christmas around the Winter Solstice, the Yule celebrations continued, but the fire from the log had a different meaning; it symbolized the light of the Savior who was born instead of the light of the Sun. Around Christmas time, a log was carried into the home amid songs and storytelling.

There was a lot of dancing as food offerings, decorations and wines were placed on the log. In the process, it was believed that bad choices and personal faults were burnt in the fire so that people started a fresh come the New Year.

The log was not completely burned, a little of it was left in the house to start the New Year to bring hope, good luck and protection of the house from lightning, fire or hails. The ashes were deemed to be sacred and were kept safe and some placed in wells to make the waters good luck. Good fruits from fruit trees and vines were produced after the ashes were placed under the trees.

In case the log went out before the night was over, it meant something negative would happen in the following year. If the flame casts the shadow of someone without a head, it meant that the person would die within the next year. The Yule log burning marked the beginning of the celebrations of Christmas and as long as the log burnt, the celebrations were to continue. A back-stick was chosen and soaked in water to make sure that it burned for a long time, so that the family would have long celebrations.

During the time of the slave trade in America, there was no working even for the slaves as long as the Yule log was burning. This meant that the English Yule logs had to be long enough to stay alight. Get sharing the Yule log information with other family members to remember the origin of the log.

By Florance Saul
Dec 27, 2016