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Origins of Yule

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icymist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-08-09 02:49 PM
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Origins of Yule
For most of us, we know the origins of a lot of our religious holidays. Or at least we think we do. Some religions are so steeped in mystery that even the most devoted followers may not be able to draw up a clear origin to some of the holidays. During the month of December theres a very solid example of this: Christians know that Christmas was created to celebrate Christs birth, but Pagans are a little more in the dark about Yule.

Yule, currently known as a celebration on the longest night of the year to mark the returning light, is one of the more common Pagan holidays known by other religions. The most prevalent story of origin from Yule can be seen in the Wiccan sect of paganism. The tale goes that yule has been traditionally a celebration of longest night of the year partially to symbolize the waiting, and labor, of the birth of the Oak King, the Sun King, the Giver of Life. Upon this Kings birth, he grows until, in the spring, he warms the frozen Earth and makes her bear forth the seeds in her womb that had been protected throughout the fall and winter.

A more interesting concept, and possibly a bit more historical, is that Yule did not take place on a certain date. Currently, Pagans celebrate Yule on one of two dates, depending on their sect. These dates are either Winter Solstice (the longest night of the year, usually the 21st or 22nd of December) or December 25th, coinciding with Christmas. It seems that originally yule was celebrated on the closest full moon to the Winter Solstice (as that would provide the markings of a new beginning as full moons do) and lasted for three nights. According to Norse tales, this changed when King Haakon . 920-961 CE) I took over.

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