Welcome Winter Solstice – Yule be glad you read this post!

The shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere means each following day will get longer going forward. Did you ever wonder how our forebears in northern central Europe kept that Yule log burning for so long in the dark of winter? The story is fascinating.

The Yule log was a whole tree meant to be burned for 12 days in the hearth. The Celts believed the sun stood still during the winter solstice. They thought by keeping the Yule log burning for these 12 days encouraged the sun to move, making the days longer. The largest end would be fed into the hearth, wine poured over it. They lit it with the remains of the previous year’s Yule log. Everyone took turns feeding the length of timber into the fire as it burned. Letting it burn out would bring bad luck.

Those days they had bigger hearths. And you thought your living room was hard to keep clean during this season. Try burning an entire tree. Have a very happy Winter Solstice. In the depth of winter there is hope as the sun returns.

As always you can find more at www.walterthinnes.com and on Twitter @walterthinnes

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