What is the Yuletide?

Yuletide was derived from the Germanic word Yule, It was a winter solstice celebration, today we associate it with the Christmastide season, and unsurprisingly there are a couple of similarities between both festivals and the traditions observed the Yuletide was the original pagan celebrations of Yule, the solstice and the god Odin.

While Yule was a celebration of the Winter Solstice, Yuletide was the entire festive period during Winter Solstice observed around the end of the year and beginning of the year just like the Christmastide, although food was scarce during winter and it was awfully cold, it was a revered practice to banquet and make merry at fireplaces celebrating Freya who banished winter and ushered in Spring.

The rest of the similarities between both Yule and Christmas customs began when the Yule first began to acquire aspects of the Roman saturnalia Winter customs shortly before it underwent a major Christian reformulation and reconstructions, 

Despite such meddling present-day Christmas customs still consists of a few of the original aspects eg.

  • Yule log: when we light candles or Christmas lights or sit around bonfires we commemorate the traditions of a culture who celebrated the solstice dancing around bonfires in winter.
  • Yule boar: The Christmas hams that make up our Christmas delicacy started out as a tribute to Freya when wild boars were hunted and feasted upon in the solstice.
  • Yule singing: you guessed that right, Christmas carols these and others stem from pagan Yule traditions and crossed over into the beautiful season of Christmas.

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