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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Yule Log



Merry Christmas!
This morning when Greg and I were about to open our gifts, I turned the TV onto the channel that has the video of a yule log burning. It was kinda funny.
But I got to thinking later....what the heck is a yule log? Greg didn't know so I did what anyone would do - Googled it!
This is what I found out.

The custom of burning the yule log goes back to medieval times and was originally a Nordic tradition. Yule is the name of the old Winter Solstice festivals.

Originally, the yule log was an entire tree that was specially chosen. The largest end of the tree/log was placed into the hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room. Can you imagine this!? I guess back then they had stone floors and didn't need to worry about the wall to wall carpeting catching fire like we do today. The tree/log would be lit from the remains of the previous year's log, which had been carefully stored the whole year long. It was slowly fed into the fire through the Twelve Days of Christmas. Interesting!

The yule log custom is spread all over Europe and different kids of wood are used in different countries. In England Oak is traditional. In Scotland it's Birch. In France it's Cherry. Also, in France, the log is sprinkled with wine before it is burnt so that it smells good. Probably also acted a bit like lighter fluid? Just a guess.

I was thinking that if someone wanted to bring back the yule log tradition, they could save the trunk of their Christmas tree and chop it into logs - assuming they have a real tree. Then, the following Christmas, they could use it in the traditional yule log fashion. When you think about it, a real Christmas tree is specially chosen just like the yule tree/log is chosen.

One thing about the yule log ashes tho, if you were to throw the ashes out on Christmas Day, it was supposed to be very unlucky! So don't do that! :)



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