Showing posts with label Winter Solstice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Winter Solstice. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winter Solstice~

Winter Solstice~
In today's post I thought I would go over the Celebration of the Winter Solstice. It is also known as Winter Yule too! The date of winter Solstice can vary from December 20 to December 23 depending on the year in the Gregorian Calendar.
Yule Winter Solstice is more known in the Northern hemisphere and the Summer Solstice in the Southern hemisphere due to the seasonal differences.
Yule ~ means when the dark half of the year relinquishes to the light half. Starting the next morning at sunrise, the sun climbs just a little higher and stays a little longer in the sky each day. This is known as Solstice Night ~ the longest night of the Year...
The sun's 'Rebirth' was celebrated with much joy. On this night, our ancestors would celebrate the rebirth of the Oak King, The Sun King, The Giver of Life that warmed the Frozen Earth. And from this day forward - the days would become longer...
For some folks, this is the hardest time of the year. Until it passes the 21 of December when usually the days get shorter and the nights aren't as long either...
I happen to be one of those folks, but that's another tale about me I might tell someday...
Anyway it seems that Bonfires were lit in the fields and crops and trees were 'wassailed' with toasts of spiced cider. Children were escorted from house to house with gifts of clove spiked apples and oranges which were laid in baskets of evergreen boughs and wheat stalks dusted with flour. The apples and oranges represented the sun. The boughs were symbolic of immortality evergreens  were sacred to the Celts because they did not "die" thereby representing the eternal aspect of the Divine).The wheat stalks portrayed the harvest and the 
flour was accomplishment of triumph, light, and life. Holly and ivy not only decorated the outside, but also the inside of homes in hopes Nature Sprites would come and join the celebration. A sprig of Holly was kept near the door all year long as a constant invitation for good fortune to visit the residents. 
 Mistletoe was also hung as decoration.  It represented the seed of the Divine, and at Midwinter, the Druids would travel deep into the forest to harvest it.
It seems that the Ceremonial Yule Log was the highlight of the Solstice festival. According 
to tradition, the Yule long must either have been harvested from the households land or given as a gift. It must never have been just bought!
Once the Yule log was dragged into the house and placed into the fireplace it was decorated in seasonal greenery, then doused with either cider or ale. Then dusted with flour before it is set ablaze with a piece of last year log.(which they save just for this purpose year after year). The Yule Log would burn throughout the night, then smolder for 12 days after before being 
Ceremonial put out.  
Ancient Customs~
It was an ancient custom for Yule Solstice, when they would sacrifice was made in their customs. 
This is when all the farmers were to come to the heathen temple and bring along with food that they needed while the feast lasted. At this feast all were to take part of the drinking of ale. Also all types of livestock were brought to be killed in connection with it too. Even Horses too. The blood of the animals that were to be sacrificed was called hlaut. Its seems that all the blood from these sacrificed animals was used in the feast & temple celebration too.  As for the vessels or the sacrificed animals, they were fashioned like sprinklers; what this means, they were smeared all over with the blood of the pedestals of the idols and also the walls of the temple within and without and likewise the en present were to be sprinkled with the same blood from these animals. 
However, the meat of these sacrificed animals were to be boiled and then served as food at the Celebration. Then fires were lit in the middle of the temple floor, where kettles would be hung over them. The sacrificial beaker was to be borne around the fire and he who made the feast was the Chieftain to bless the beaker as well as all the scarified animals. It was quite a Celebration of its day in the ancient days of the Yule Solstice... I hope You all found this interesting 
my dear Friends and Followers. I do try to find different seasonal type of stories during
the holidays and some of them are not all ways a happy because of the times.. I love you















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