Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Yule

It seems a little silly for me in the southern hemisphere to be celebrating yule at this time of year. But I live in a tropical zone where it is hot all year round. So in keeping with tradition Merry yule and happy winter solstice to you!

Yule is the Anglo-Saxon word for the festival of the Winter Solstice. It comes from the original 'Iul' meaning 'wheel'. In the old Almanacs, the symbol of a wheel was used to mark Yuletide. The idea behind this is that the year turns like a wheel, The Great Wheel of the Zodiac, The Wheel of Life, of which the spokes are the old ritual occasions. The winter solstice, the rebirth of the Sun, is a particularly important turning point.

The Shortest Day by Susan Cooper

So the shortest day came, and the year died,

And everywhere down the centuries of the snow-white world

Came people singing, dancing,

To drive the dark away.

They lighted candles in the winter trees;

They hung their homes with evergreen;

They burned beseeching fires all night long

To keep the year alive,

And when the new year's sunshine blazed awake

They shouted, reveling.

Through all the frosty ages you can hear them

Echoing behind us - Listen!!

All the long echoes sing the same delight,

This shortest day,

As promise wakens in the sleeping land:

They carol, fest, give thanks,

And dearly love their friends,

And hope for peace.

And so do we, here, now,

This year and every year.

Welcome Yule!!