Yuletide, Winter Solstice, Midwinter, Winter Rite, Festival of Sol Invictus/Mithras, Saturnalia (Roman), Cuidle, Alban Arthan, Gŵyl Galan Gaeaf, Meán Geimhridh (Welsh)
December 21, 2013 (Northern Hemisphere)
Quarter Festival, Solstice, Lesser Sabbat
The winter solstice, or Yule, marks the shortest day of the year. From this point on, days continue to grow longer until Midsummer (Litha), therefore Yule celebrates the return of the sun, and light’s triumph over dark. Yule is also thought of as the time when the Goddess gives birth to her son, the God of Light, and the Oak King defeats the Holly King in the battle of the seasons.
Other Yuletide festivals include Saturnalia (Roman), Mummurs Day (Celtic), Meán Geimhridh, Alban Arthan (Welsh), and Hogmanay (Scotland). It is thought that Christmas takes its origins from these ancient pagan festivals. Even the date of December 25 coincides with the festival days of the ancient Persian God Mithras and the Roman God Sol Invictus.
Yule is a time for celebrations, feasting, lighting bonfires and candles (to celebrate the return of the sun’s light), evergreens, wreaths, holly, mistletoe, Yule trees, Yule Logs, and cups of wassail for good cheer. It is a good time to work on introspection, balance, peace, love and harmony. Yule represents new beginnings, rebirth and renewal, and hope for the future.
© A Year And A Day (2013)