Yule Log – The Traditional Light for Christmas

yule log fire

The Yule Log was a traditional item given great honor on Christmas Eve, This piece of wood, cut from a hearty tree and carried home with singing and great merriment, would light and heat the home in anticipation of the Holiday. Legend has it that the master of the house would pour various liquors on it and anoint the piece of wood with oils, salt and wine, and the family would gather around it and prayers would be said. Belief held was that the cinders of the burnt Yule Log would keep the Devil from plaguing the home in the coming year.

Reaching further back in civilizations’ history, a Pagan ritual was that on the Winter Solstice, a large log lit to keep evil spirits away as they waited on the longest night of the year for the Sun to rise again. Certain species of trees would be chosen for their magical properties such as

Aspen: invokes understanding of the Grand Scheme or Design
Birch: signifies a new beginning
Holly: invokes visions and reveals the past
Oak: burnt for healing and strength
Pine: signifies prosperity, growth and bounty
Willow: invokes the Goddess to achieve desired outcomes

During the Victorian era, many drawing of St. Nicholas, also known as Father Christmas, would be depicted as carrying a Yule Log over one shoulder and dragging a red bag full of toys in the other.

To read more about these traditions, please go to:
http://www.stcharleschristmas.com/yulelog. htm

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