December 21, the Winter Solstice, is the turning point for the sun. Starting tomorrow, the sun will come up a little earlier and stay up a little longer than it did today. That is a good thing, because it is really cold right now. The Weatherbug icon on my computer says 19 degrees. That is cold. Last night it was down to 9 degrees before starting to “warm up” to a high of 20. I can’t imagine there being much difference in the way 9 degrees and 20 degrees feels. I would freeze to death quickly in either temperature, if left there long without proper attire. Actually, the attire is not even an issue. I would freeze to death.
The pagan ritual of Yule begins at the Solstice, with a Yule Log being brought into the house and allowed to burn for 12 days. I don’t think this would work for us, because we don’t have a fireplace that would allow anything to burn that long without turning it to cinders. The 12 days of the Yule Log later were co-opted by the Christians, who turned it into the 12 Days of Christmas. I found a place online where one can read more about the Solstice and pagan holidays. Another interesting thing is the color scheme for Yule, which is synonomous with what we consider “Christmas Colors,” and the fragrant flavors of the holiday, which are also Christmas smells.
Here’s the site:
WPIX, the TV Station, puts a burning Yule Log up for your enjoyment. But if you don’t have cable, there’s a two minute excerpt up on You Tube, so if you don’t have a fireplace, here ya go: