What is Yule?
Yule is the Pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice.
What is the Winter Solstice?
“Solstice” is a Latin word that means “sun-standing-still”. The Winter Solstice is the shortest day and the longest night of the year.
Why is it significant?
To our ancestors, living in a largely agrarian society, the Winter Solstice marked the beginning of the end of Winter. Winter was a time of cold, of hunger and privation, a time when darkness came early and seemed to last longer and longer every night. The Sun, the source of life, appeared weaker every day. Would a time come, they must have wondered, when it would simply go out like a burnt-out candle?
From this fear came all manner of customs, rituals and ceremonies, from virtually every culture – all devoted to one end: to strengthen and ultimately draw back the Sun, lest the world perish in cold and darkness.
For more information on the Winter Solstice and Yule, go to http://twitter.com/#!/candlegrove, or read The Winter Solstice, by John and Caitlin Matthews.