Saturday, October 2, 2010

Yule Celebrations In Great Britain

Yule Celebrations In Great Britain Cover Yule or Yule-tide is a winter festival that was initially celebrated by the historical Germanic peoples as a pagan religious festival, though it was later absorbed into, and equated with, the Christian festival of Christmas. The festival was originally celebrated from late December to early January on a date determined by the lunar Germanic calendar. The festival was placed on December 25 when the Christian calendar (Julian calendar) was adopted. Some historians claim that the celebration is connected to the Wild Hunt or was influenced by Saturnalia, the Roman winter festival.

Terms with an etymological equivalent to “Yule” are still used in the Nordic Countries for the Christian Christmas, but also for other religious holidays of the season. In modern times this has gradually led to a more secular tradition under the same name as Christmas. Yule is also used to a lesser extent in English-speaking countries to refer to Christmas. Customs such as the Yule log, Yule goat, Yule boar, Yule singing, and others stem from Yule. In modern times, Yule is observed as a cultural festival and also with religious rites by some Christians and by some Neopagans.

In Britain and other parts of the British Influenced world, the modern Yule or Yuletide is more commonly associated with Christmas (along with Christmastide) which generally supplanted it around the 11th century other than in North East England where it remained the usual word (and had the variants of yel and yul), possibly being reinforced by the Norse influence (see Danelaw) on that region. It was revived in regular use in standard English during the 19th century however the name Yule log was recorded earlier in the 17th century.

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