Week 31 – Yule Ritual

February 16, 2011 at 1:49 pm (Uncategorized)

The God is reborn on this day making the sun grow in strength after this, the shortest day of sunlight. Yule comes from the pagan Scandinavian word “Jul.” This is a day to welcome the growth of the sun. The Oak King and Holly King meet once again for their battle to see who will govern the next half of the year. The Oak King beats the Holly King. After paying well deserved respect to the Holly King, the Oak King takes over for the light half of the year until Litha (summer solstice).

The Oak King

The Holly King

“Santa Claus” is modeled after the Holly King.

Saturnalia
The Romans had a celebration that occurred every December 25th. The parties were quite boisterous with drinking, celebrating, and let’s just say “adult” activities. In any case, in the 4th century the Christian church decided that in order to dilute this holiday, they would have their own celebrations on this day celebrating the birth of the Son of God, Jesus, and in turn, changing the entire nature of the holiday to make it more socially conservative. Christmas as a day of celebration ebbs and flows throughout history. It doesn’t become a holiday in North America until the 1800’s. Decorating trees is not associated with Christmas until then, as well. The phrase “Merry Christmas” becomes popular after Charles Dickens releases “A Christmas Carol.”

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