Yule Date in the current year: December 21, 2016

Yule Yule, also known as Yuletide, is an ancient Germanic midwinter festival. It is celebrated on the day of winter solstice. Yule originated as a pagan festival celebrated by the Germanic peoples. Some of its customs are still reflected in Christmas celebrations.

In pre-Christian times, Yule was a twelve-day festival that began at winter solstice. It marked the turn from winter to spring. Some scholars connect the festival to an ancient Germanic myth about the Wild Hunt, a ghostly procession of huntsmen that could be seen in the winter sky.

When the Christianization of Europe began, Yule virtually merged with Christmas celebrations. The names of some Christmas customs still have the word “Yule” in them: Yule log, Yule goat, Yule ham, Yule singing. Evergreen plants commonly associated with Christmas, mistletoe and holly, used to be Yule symbols.

The Yule log is probably the best know symbol of Yuletide. It is a specially selected log burnt on the hearth on or around Christmas. The Yule goat is a Northern European and Scandinavian symbol. Goat figures made of straw are popular Christmas ornaments in Scandinavia.

Some neopagan movements have revived Yule celebration, although its traditions differ from one neopagan group to another.

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Folk Festivals


Yule, Yuletide, winter solstice, midwinter festival, folk festival, pagan festival