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Ten ways to Celebrate Yule
The Winter Solstice is the shortest day and longest night of the year (this year it falls on 21st Dec). Many celebrations in the Northern Hemisphere focus on this sacred time in Nature, when the promise of light and life returns. Festivals of light can be found in many cultures. Here are ten ways to celebrate the Winter Solstice with your family.
Our ancient ancestors celebrated Yule, and when Christianity was introduced the church opted for this time of year to celebrate Christmas, with many of the Yule traditions and practices absorbed into Christmas festivities. We can hear echoes of pagan songs in Christmas carols, and just like our ancestors we light candles and fires, decorate our homes with evergreen plants, feast, dance, and give gifts. Whatever your religious background, Winter Solstice offers a perfect opportunity to get together with family and reflect on the year that has gone and the year to come. If your family have different religious beliefs, Winter Solstice is a good chance to be together and celebrate a non-denominational festival, a time of gratitude for Nature’s cycles.
Solstice means ‘sun stand still’, and this is the time when the sun seems to halt in the sky. Christians celebrate the birth of Christ at this time of year, and Yule is connected to the joy at the birth of the Sun God, child of the Goddess. It is a celebration of rebirth. This is the turning point of the year, when the days gradually become longer and the darkness of winter is overcome. It is easy to understand why our ancestors held Solstice in such reverence. Their lives were governed by the sun, and the promise of its return would, of course, be sacred. Today, our relationship with the natural world has much less of an impact on our everyday lives; in fact, 21st century people can, and do, forget the world outside their window.
There are many ways you can bring the magic of Winter Solstice into your homes and hearts. Here are a few ways to make the most of the sacred energy with your family:
*1). Set out on a Solstice walk*
Take your family out into the natural world to gather greenery for your home. Take time selecting your Yule log, finding a dry piece of wood that has fallen. Spend some time (if it’s dry) sitting on the Earth, or place your hands on the Earth, connecting with the pulse of life. Bring home the gifts of Nature, selecting branches and berries that have naturally fallen, to fill your house with the evergreen magic of winter.
Nice, Bridget. Thank you.
Thanks, dear Bridget!