Are you already celebrating Yule without realizing it? People gathered to celebrate the long night together, feast around a bonfire, and exchange gifts sound familiar?
Yule is an ancient tradition and celebration of the winter solstice, marking the shortest day and longest night of the year. Yule has evolved over the years but still holds on to its ancient roots through its traditions and celebrations. Let's explore simple ways to celebrate this pagan holiday!
We'll start with the most obvious, the Yule tree! Celebrate the season by bringing nature into your home this season. The Tree represents the world tree or the tree of life. They were commonly decorated with berries, pinecones, including gifts, similar to the way we decorate our trees today.
If you have a fireplace or a hearth this next tradition might be for you! The Yule log. This was done for warmth and to ward off unwanted malevolent spirits that roamed the long night. It was believed the longer the log burned the quicker the sun would return. The last remnants of the log were saved to add to next year's fire. So grab your fuzzy socks and curl up to the fireplace with some Wassail!
Speaking of Wassail (meaning be well), did you know this festive drink was used to promote good health through the cold months? Made of mulled apple cider, spices and honey, this Yule drink was also used for baking cakes and anointing symbols as well.
While many Yule traditions are centered around community, consider taking a little time for yourself. A ritual bath, was taken during the longest night of the year to release negative energies to begin a new year! A ritual bath is a great way to incorporate a self care tradition during a sometimes stressful season and start the new year off with invigorated intentions!
Lastly, share special time with friends and family during a Yule feast! Something most of us already do. Traditional Yule fare consists of food and drink such as eggnog, spiced cider, wassail, gingerbread, and caraway cakes.
However, you celebrate, be sure you enjoy what is important to you!