Showing posts with label Yule Log-2014. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yule Log-2014. Show all posts

Friday, December 5, 2014

Yule Log-2014

Yule Log~
Yule Log
In the European Times
Well, I've always wondered about the Yule log~ So my dear Friends & Followers for this Christmas holiday season I thought I would bring you the tale of the Yule Log...
First what is the Yule Log? The Yule Log is a large and very hard log which is burned in the hearth as part of an traditional Yule or modern Christmas celebrations in several Yule or modern Christmas Celebration in several European Cultures. it may also be associated with the winter Solstice Festival, the Twelve Days of Christmas, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and Finally the Twelfth Night! Some of these you May or May not know of, but that is the fun of discovery! They are also used as an expression known as the log shaped Christmas cakes, Chocolate logs or Buche de Noel.
The Yule Log is also related to other Christmas and Yule tides traditions such as the ashen faggot.
The Term 'Yule Log', has many different meanings when used in different countries; such as in
Scotland- it is known as the Yeel Carline [Christmas Old Wife]. In Germany; the Yule Log is referred to as 'Christklotz', Christbrand or Weihnachtsscheit-[Christmas log] and is kindled on Christmas Eve. In Ireland; the Yule Log is referred to the; Bloc na Nollag - which means [Christmas Block]. In Welsh; it is called an Boncyff Nadolig [Christmas log].
Finally in the Northeast parts of England; it was commonly called a Yule Clog.
So Now that you know a few terms that were used for the Yule Log, from a couple different countries I thought we would go into more of the history of the Yule Log.
History of the Yule Log~
The True Tradition of the
European Yule Log
The Yule Log was originally an entire Tree, that was carefully chosen and brought into a home
with a grand ceremony. Its purpose was to provide maximum warmth and endurance to the home and the people within it.
In some of the European Traditions, the largest end of a log would be placed into the fire hearth while the rest of the tree is stuck out into the room. What I found in the early traditions of European Christmas, was the Yule Log tradition was morphed into their tradition of the
Twelve Days of Christmas. Then in the 20th century Europe and North America predominantly a reference to the burning of the largest log possible at Christmas.
I did discover that the Yule logs origins were, historical Germanic Paganism which was practiced across Northern Europe prior to Christianization. One of the very first people that suggest this, was an English historian. It was Henry Bourne, who had written about the customs in the 6th and 7th century's on Anglo-Saxon Paganism in the 1720's.
Great Britain~
In Britain Tradition the Yule Log
they would have competitions on who
would have the largest Tree for their
Yule Log
The Britain Tradition with the Yule log... I couldn't find any accounts of the customs of the Yule Log prior to the 17th century - However, some historians and folklorists within London have theorized that it was not an ancient British custom, but was in fact imported to Britain from the Continentals European counties in the early modern period. These could have been Flanders in Belgium where the tradition thrived in this period.
However, there is always a tale in every folklore of each country & even Great Britain too.
This one that I found was written about the 'Christmas Log' and said, 'that it was brought into the farmhouse by a group of males, who were then rewarded with free beer from the farmer's wife. He claimed that the fire used to burn the log was always started with with a remnant from the log that had been burned in the previous years festivities. He also said that the log's role was primarily one! to bring the prosperity and protection from evil - by keeping the remnant of the log all the year long the protection was said to remain across the year.
In ancient Traditions of the British
their Yule Log was a True enormous
Logs that were brought into the homes
To the British, the Yule Log was not only seen as a Magick protection amulet in their British rural Culture. It was so much more in their traditions. There were even rivalries in the community's on who had the largest Yule log(Tree).
Sadly it seems like all the old and ancient traditions die out over time. Just like that of the JULE LOG TOO!. Which did in Britain in the latter of the 19th and early 20th century because of an historian Ronald Hutton who said," The reduction in farm labour and the disappearance of the old-fashioned open hearths'.  Was basically his reasoning for the ancient traditions of the British to stop their traditions of the Yule Log to a much smaller size.
French Speaking Europe~
The Traditional  French
Yule log Dessert Cake
They make it look as much
as the Yule Log ...
In France, Wallonia, Quebec and in Lebanon the 'Christmas Log' is called Buche de Noel.
It is a traditional dessert and its origins is a facsimile of the actual Yule Log.
The tradition of the Yule log was discontinued as large fireplaces became an increasingly rarer feature of the average living room. So when this happened, the dessert is what replaced the tradition. It is usually in the form of a large rectangular yellow cake spread with frosting and rolled up into a cylinder. One end is then lopped off and stood on end to indicate the rings of the 'Log'. It is not known when the dessert or its name originated. It is known to have existed by the year 1945 and apparently is a tradition of jam rolls served at Christmas and is attested for Poitou-Charentes since the 19th century.
In Serbian a Traditional
Christmas Ceremonial of
burning of Oak twigs with
the leaves left on them
Finally the Badnjak which is a central feature in the traditional Serbian Christmas Badnjak, is preferably a straight and young oak. In the ceremonially it cut down in the early morning to Christmas Eve. When the burning to the Yule Log(Young oak) happens, it is accompanied by prayers that the coming year may bring much happiness, love, luck, riches, and food. These yule logs may burn on through Christmas Day, whether rekindled or kept burning from Christmas Eve. It just depends on the log and the weather. It seems that the first person to visit the family that day is supposed to strike the burning Badnjak with a poker or a branch to make sparks fly from it, at the same time uttering a wish of happiness, prosperity, health, and joy to the family to be abundant as the sparks. These environmental ideas for these customs were the traditional multi-generation of the Serbs country sides household ideas...
Man kisses an Oak Cross
in the freezing waters of
Siberia as part of their tradition
celebration. It is the log that a family solemnly brings into the house and places on the fire on
the evening of Christmas Eve. The tree that is used for the
Since most Serbs today live in towns and cities, the Badnjak is symbolically represented by not the full Oak tree, but by oak twigs with leaves on them. Which are brought in street markets or even received in churches too. The origin of the Badnjak is explained by reference to events surrounding the nativity of Jesus Christ; scholars, however, these customs as practiced inherited from the Old Slavic religion.
In Bulgaria~
In Bulgaria a young man
is chosen to cut down
either a Oak, Elm or
Pear Tree
In Bulgaria, the Yule Log is an important part of Christmas Eve preparations. Traditionally a young man of the family, who was chosen would be sent dressed in his best clothes to cut down an Oak, Elm or Pear Tree which was used as the Budnik.
A Prayer for forgiveness was necessary before it was chopped down and carried on the right shoulder without being allowed to touch the ground. An indication of the importance of this ritual is that Christmas Eve translates to Budnik Eve in Bulgaria.
In some regions, on the man's return he will ask, 'Do you glorify the Young God?' three times and receives a positive answer, "We glorify Him, Welcome". A hole is then bored in one end of the budnik and filled with Chrism made of wine, cooking oil, and incense. The hole is plugged and that end of the log is wrapped with a white linen cloth before the badnik is festively burns it on the hearth. The log is considered to possess special healing powers and the ritual includes songs and the uttering of wishes as the log is lit, much like the Serbian ritual is done.
The log has to burn all night. It is believed that its warmth and light symbolise the coming of Christ as well as providing a warm welcome to the Virgin Mary and the family's ancestors, who are believed to be guests at the table according to traditions in some regions.
Sometimes the fire is put out in the morning using wine. Remains of the Yule log are cherished and may be used to make personal crosses or a plough and the ashes are spread over a field or vineyard to induce better yields. Well I hope that you all found the history
of the Yule Log interesting. I did myself. I thought I would leave you with

a few images of the Yule Log different images too
~Happy Yule Log~

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