Yule Log

The Yule Log

Yule was, among the Norse, the celebration of the winter solstice . Yule began at sunset on December 20th and ended on January 1st.


Yule was uniquely associated with Odin/Woden as its originator. An alternate meaning of the word was feast.


Yule was celebrated with the burning of a Yule log, a leftover of the previous year. If possible, it was scented with bayberry, blessed thistle, evergreen, frankincense holly, laurel, mistletoe, oak, pine, sage, yellow cedar. An enclosure was decorated with evergreen boughs or wreaths, holly, mistletoe, baskets of fruit with cloves, and poinsettias. Cookies and caraway cakes soaked in cider, fruits, nuts, pork dishes, turkey, eggnog, ginger tea, spiced cider, wassail, or lamb's wool (ale, sugar, nutmeg, roasted apples) were eaten. Activities of the Yule season were caroling, wassailing the trees, decorating the Yule tree, exchanging of presents, kissing under the mistletoe, and worshipping Odin, or Kris Kringle.


The Yule period was the changeover from a shortening to a lengthening of days and a worship of the hardy oak and the life-giving sun. As a practitioner of female magic and a symbol of wisdom, Odin was an ideal god for the occasion.

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