Y U L E by Gwydion Cinhil Kirontin Ou˛ Christiaţ friendˇ arň ofteţ quitň surpriseń a˘ ho¸

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Y U L E by Gwydion Cinhil Kirontin Ou˛ Christiaţ friendˇ arň ofteţ quitň surpriseń a˘ ho¸ enthusiasticall¨ wň Paganˇ celebratň thň "Christmasó season« Eveţ thougŔ wň prefe˛ t´ usň thň worń "Yule"Č anń ou˛ celebrationˇ ma¨ peaŰ ß fe¸ dayˇ beforň thň 25thČ wň nonethelesˇ follo¸ man¨ oŠ thň traditionaý customˇ oŠ thň season║ decorateń treesČ carollingČ presentsČ Yulň logsČ anń mistletoe« Wň migh˘ eveţ g´ s´ fa˛ aˇ puttinš u­ ß "Nativit¨ set"Č thougŔ fo˛ uˇ thň threň centraý characterˇ arň likel¨ t´ bň interpreteń aˇ Mothe˛ NatureČ Fathe˛ TimeČ anń thň Bab¨ Sun-God« Nonň oŠ hiˇ wilý comň aˇ ß surprisň t´ anyonň wh´ knowˇ thň truň histor¨ oŠ thň holidayČ oŠ course. Iţ factČ iŠ trutŔ bň knownČ thň holida¨ oŠ Christmaˇ haˇ alwayˇ beeţ morň Pagaţ thaţ ChristianČ witŔ it'ˇ associationˇ oŠ NordiŃ divinationČ CeltiŃ fertilit¨ ritesČ anń Romaţ Mithraism« Tha˘ iˇ wh¨ botŔ Martiţ Luthe˛ anń Johţ Calviţ abhorreń itČ wh¨ thň Puritanˇ refuseń t´ acknowedgň itČ mucŔ lesˇ celebratň i˘ (t´ themČ n´ da¨ oŠ thň yea˛ coulń bň morň hol¨ thaţ thň Sabbath)Č anń wh¨ i˘ waˇ eveţ madň *illegal¬ iţ Bostoní Thň holida¨ waˇ alread¨ to´ closel¨ associateń witŔ thň birtŔ oŠ olde˛ Pagaţ godˇ anń heroes« Anń man¨ oŠ theÝ (likň OedipusČ TheseusČ HerculesČ PerseusČ JasonČ DionysusČ ApolloČ MithraČ Horuˇ anń eveţ Arthurę possesseń ß narrativň oŠ birthČ deathČ anń resurrectioţ tha˘ waˇ uncomfortabl¨ closň t´ tha˘ oŠ Jesus« Anń t´ makň matterˇ worseČ man¨ oŠ theÝ pre-dateń thň Christian Savior. UltimatelyČ oŠ courseČ thň holida¨ iˇ rooteń deepl¨ iţ thň cyclň oŠ thň year« I˘ iˇ thň Winte˛ Solsticň tha˘ iˇ beinš celebratedČ seed-timň oŠ thň yearČ thň longes˘ nigh˘ anń shortes˘ day« I˘ iˇ thň birthda¨ oŠ thň ne¸ Suţ KingČ thň Soţ oŠ God--b¨ whateve˛ namň yo§ choosň t´ calý him« Oţ thiˇ darkes˘ oŠ nightsČ thň Goddesˇ becomeˇ thň Grea˘ Mothe˛ anń oncň agaiţ giveˇ birth« Anń i˘ makeˇ perfec˘ poetiŃ sensň tha˘ oţ thň longes˘ nigh˘ oŠ thň winterČ "thň darŰ nigh˘ oŠ ou˛ souls"Č herň springˇ thň ne¸ sparŰ oŠ hopeČ thň Sacreń FireČ thň Ligh˘ oŠ thň WorldČ thň Coeý Coeth. Tha˘ iˇ wh¨ Paganˇ havň aˇ mucŔ righ˘ t´ claiÝ thiˇ holida¨ aˇ Christians« Perhapˇ eveţ morň soČ aˇ thň Christianˇ werň rathe˛ latň iţ layinš claiÝ t´ itČ anń trień morň thaţ oncň t´ rejec˘ it« Therň hań beeţ ß traditioţ iţ thň Wes˘ tha˘ Mar¨ borň thň chilń Jesuˇ oţ thň twenty-fiftŔ dayČ bu˘ n´ onň coulń seeÝ t´ decidň oţ thň month« FinallyČ iţ 32░ C.E.Č thň CatholiŃ Fatherˇ iţ Romň decideń t´ makň i˘ DecemberČ iţ aţ effor˘ t´ coop˘ thň MithraiŃ celebratioţ oŠ thň Romanˇ anń thň Yulň celebrationˇ oŠ the Celts. Therň waˇ neve˛ mucŔ pretensň tha˘ thň datň the¨ finall¨ chosň waˇ historicall¨ accurate« Shepherdˇ jus˘ don'˘ "tenń thei˛ flockˇ b¨ nightó iţ thň higŔ pastureˇ iţ thň deań oŠ winte˛ -- no˘ eveţ iţ thosň climatesí Knowinš thisČ thň Easterţ halŠ oŠ Őthň ChurcŔ continueń t´ rejec˘ Decembe˛ 25Č preferrinš ß "movablň dateó fixeń b¨ thei˛ astrologers according to the moon. ThusČ despitň itˇ shak¨ star˘ (fo˛ ove˛ threň centuriesČ n´ onň kne¸ wheţ Jesuˇ waˇ supposeń t´ havň beeţ born!)Č Decembe˛ 2Á finall¨ begaţ t´ catcŔ on« B¨ 529Č i˘ waˇ ß civiŃ holidayČ anń alý worŰ o˛ publiŃ businesˇ (excep˘ tha˘ oŠ cooksČ bakersČ o˛ an¨ tha˘ contributeń t´ thň deligh˘ oŠ thň holidayę waˇ prohibiteń b¨ thň Empero˛ Justinian« Iţ 563Č thň Counciý oŠ Bragß forbadň fastinš oţ Christmaˇ DayČ anń fou˛ yearˇ late˛ thň Counciý oŠ Tourˇ proclaimeń thň twelvň dayˇ froÝ Decembe˛ 2Á t´ Epiphan¨ aˇ ß sacredČ festivň season« Thiˇ las˘ poin˘ iˇ perhapˇ thň hardes˘ t´ impresˇ upoţ thň moderţ readerČ wh´ iˇ luck¨ t´ ge˘ ß singlň da¨ ofŠ work« ChristmasČ iţ thň Middlň AgesČ waˇ no˘ ß *single¬ dayČ bu˘ rathe˛ ß perioń oŠ *twelvň days*Č froÝ Decembe˛ 2Á t´ Januar¨ 6« Thň Twelvň Dayˇ oŠ ChristmasČ iţ fact« I˘ iˇ certainl¨ lamentablň tha˘ thň moderţ worlń haˇ abandoneń thiˇ approachČ alonš with the popular Twelfth Night celebrations. OŠ courseČ thň Christiaţ versioţ oŠ thň holida¨ spreań t´ man¨ countrieˇ n´ faste˛ thaţ Christianit¨ itselfČ whicŔ meanˇ tha˘ "Christmasó wasn'˘ celebrateń iţ Irelanń untiý thň latň fiftŔ century╗ iţ EnglandČ SwitzerlandČ anń Austriß untiý thň seventh╗ iţ German¨ untiý thň eighth╗ anń iţ thň SlaviŃ landˇ untiý thň nintŔ anń tenth« No˘ tha˘ thesň countrieˇ lackeń thei˛ owţ midwinte˛ celebrationˇ oŠ Yuletide« Lonš beforň thň worlń hań hearń oŠ JesusČ Paganˇ hań beeţ observinš thň seasoţ b¨ bringinš iţ thň Yulň logČ wishinš oţ itČ anń lightinš i˘ froÝ thň remainˇ oŠ las˘ year'ˇ log« Riddleˇ werň poseń anń answeredČ magiŃ anń ritualˇ werň practicedČ wilń boarˇ werň sacrificeń anń consumeń alonš witŔ largň quantitieˇ oŠ liquorČ corţ dollieˇ werň carrień froÝ housň t´ housň whilň carollingČ fertilit¨ riteˇ werň practiceń (girlˇ standinš unde˛ ß spriš oŠ mistletoň werň subjec˘ t´ ß bi˘ morň thaţ ß kiss)Č anń divinationˇ werň cas˘ fo˛ thň cominš Spring« Man¨ oŠ thesň Pagaţ customsČ iţ aţ appropriatel¨ watered-dowţ formČ havň entereń thň mainstreaÝ oŠ Christiaţ celebrationČ thougŔ mos˘ celebrantˇ d´ no˘ realizň (o˛ d´ no˘ mentioţ itČ iŠ the¨ do) their origins. Fo˛ moderţ WitchesČ Yulň (froÝ thň Anglo-Saxoţ "Yula"Č meaninš "wheeló oŠ thň yearę iˇ usuall¨ celebrateń oţ thň actuaý Winte˛ SolsticeČ whicŔ ma¨ var¨ b¨ ß fe¸ daysČ thougŔ i˘ usuall¨ occurˇ oţ o˛ arounń Decembe˛ 21st« I˘ iˇ ß Lesse˛ Sabba˘ o˛ Lowe˛ Holida¨ iţ thň moderţ Pagaţ calendarČ onň oŠ thň fou˛ quarter-dayˇ oŠ thň yearČ bu˘ ß ver¨ importan˘ one« Thiˇ yea˛ i˘ occurˇ oţ Decembe˛ 21s˘ a˘ 4:0Ş p.m« Pagaţ customˇ arň stilý enthusiasticall¨ followed« OnceČ thň Yulň loš hań beeţ thň cente˛ oŠ thň celebration« I˘ waˇ lighteń oţ thň evň oŠ thň solsticň (i˘ shoulń ligh˘ oţ thň firs˘ tryę anń mus˘ bň kep˘ burninš fo˛ twelvň hoursČ fo˛ gooń luck« I˘ shoulń bň madň oŠ ash« LaterČ thň Yulň loš waˇ replaceń b¨ thň Yulň treň butČ insteań oŠ burninš itČ burninš candleˇ werň placeń oţ it« Iţ ChristianityČ Protestantˇ migh˘ claiÝ tha˘ Martiţ Luthe˛ inventeń thň customČ anń Catholicˇ migh˘ gran˘ St« Bonifacň thň honorČ bu˘ thň custoÝ caţ demonstrabl¨ bň traceń bacŰ througŔ thň Romaţ ŐSaturnaliß alý thň wa¨ t´ ancien˘ Egypt« Needlesˇ t´ sayČ sucŔ ß treň shoulń bň cu˘ dowţ rathe˛ thaţ purchasedČ anń shoulń bň disposeń oŠ b¨ burningČ thň prope˛ wa¨ t´ dispatcŔ an¨ sacreń object. Alonš witŔ thň evergreenČ thň holl¨ anń thň iv¨ anń thň mistletoň werň importan˘ plantˇ oŠ thň seasonČ alý symbolizinš fertilit¨ anń ever-lastinš life« Mistletoň waˇ especiall¨ venerateń b¨ thň CeltiŃ DruidsČ wh´ cu˘ i˘ witŔ ß goldeţ sicklň oţ thň sixtŔ nigh˘ oŠ thň moonČ anń believeń i˘ t´ bň aţ aphrodisiac« (Don'˘ tr¨ ití It'ˇ highl¨ toxic!ę Bu˘ aphrodisiacˇ mus˘ havň beeţ thň smalles˘ par˘ oŠ thň Yuletidň men§ iţ ancien˘ timesČ aˇ contemporar¨ reportˇ indicatň tha˘ thň tableˇ fairl¨ creakeń unde˛ thň straiţ oŠ ever¨ typň oŠ gooń fooń anń drinkí Thň mos˘ popula˛ oŠ whicŔ waˇ thň "wassaiý cupó derivinš itˇ namň froÝ thň Anglo-Saxoţ terÝ "waeˇ haeló (bň wholň o˛ hale). Medievaý Christmaˇ folklorň seemˇ endless║ tha˘ animalˇ wilý alý kneeý dowţ aˇ thň Hol¨ Nigh˘ arrivesČ tha˘ beeˇ huÝ thň "100tŔ psalmó oţ Christmaˇ EveČ tha˘ ß wind¨ Christmaˇ wilý brinš gooń luckČ tha˘ ß persoţ borţ oţ Christmaˇ Da¨ caţ seň thň Littlň PeopleČ tha˘ ß cricke˘ oţ thň heartŔ bringˇ gooń luckČ tha˘ iŠ onň openˇ alý thň doorˇ oŠ thň housň a˘ midnigh˘ alý thň eviý spiritˇ wilý departČ tha˘ yo§ wilý havň onň luck¨ montŔ fo˛ eacŔ Christmaˇ puddinš yo§ sampleČ tha˘ thň treň mus˘ bň takeţ dowţ b¨ TwelftŔ Nigh˘ o˛ bań lucŰ iˇ surň t´ followČ tha˘ "iŠ Christmaˇ oţ ß Sunda¨ beČ ß wind¨ winte˛ wň shalý see"Č tha˘ "hourˇ oŠ suţ oţ Christmaˇ DayČ s´ man¨ frostˇ iţ thň montŔ oŠ May"Č tha˘ onň caţ usň thň Twelvň Dayˇ oŠ Christmaˇ t´ predic˘ thň weathe˛ fo˛ eacŔ oŠ thň twelvň monthˇ oŠ thň cominš yearČ anń s´ on. Rememberinš tha˘ mos˘ Christmaˇ customˇ arň ultimatel¨ baseń upoţ olde˛ Pagaţ customsČ i˘ onl¨ remainˇ fo˛ moderţ Paganˇ t´ reclaiÝ thei˛ los˘ traditions« Anń thuˇ wň alý sharň iţ thň beaut¨ oŠ thiˇ mos˘ magicaý oŠ seasonsČ wheţ thň Mothe˛ Goddesˇ oncň agaiţ giveˇ birtŔ t´ thň bab¨ Sun-Goń anń setˇ thň wheeý iţ motioţ again« T´ concludň witŔ ß long-overduň paraphraseČ "Goddess bless us, every one!"

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