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The Magic of Celebrating Yule

Yule, also known as Yuletide or Yulefest, is the modern English word for a pagan religious festival observed by Germanic people. It falls on the 21st or 22nd of December, depending on the astronomical phenomenon which marks the shortest day and the longest night of the year. How does this occur? Simply because the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky and its elevation at noon appears to be the same for several days before and after solstice. In simple terms, Yule is to commemorate the rebirth of the Sun. 

Often confused, Yule has no sort of relation to Christmas which falls on the 25th of December. However, a tree will be set up by each household, decorated with ornaments, wrapped with bright lights with presents scattered at the bottom of the tree, a feast prepared by loving hands, a Yule log and lots of magic to paint this holiday with colour. A Yule log is a large log traditionally burnt in the hearth on Christmas eve. The Yule log is lit to give out an aromatic scent, the remaining wood is normally used as amulets. The expression ‘yule log’ also refers to a log-shaped Christmas cakes, also known as chocolate logs. 

During the evening of the winter solstice, the family gather together to reflect on the year and mark the changes of the season. Little scraps of paper will be distributed to every single person, two pieces per person. On one piece of paper, the grudges they bear, the negative thoughs that cloud their mind, their regrets or losses were to be written. On the other, only one longing wish is to be written.

Although Yule is not commonly celebrated, it’s always good to keep your mind open to understanding different cultures and their festivities. Happy holidays! 

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