Friday, October 10, 2008
Bringing in the Yule Log!
In olde England, a huge part of the excitement of Christmas was bringing in the Yule Log. This was an event which was anticipated by keeping a small figment of last year's Log, safely stowed away where it would be secure, to use when lighting the current year's (new) log. We are not talking about a small log like the ones you see on TV screens on Christmas Eve in the US (which is fine if you don't have a fireplace of your own). But the special Yule Log was HUGE--it went in the main fireplace, usually in the kitchen, or, in a parlour if the fireplace could fit it. Think partial tree trunk, here. The tree or log was carefully picked out ahead of time so that when the time came for it to be brought into the house, (no sooner than Christmas Eve)it would already have been cut and dry enough to light well.
This log was traditionally supposed to last not only throughout Christmas Eve, to usher in the holiday, but all through Christmas Day, too. It was used to heat up the festive drinks, such as nog and wassail; and it was used for cooking Christmas dinner. If the log lasted, all was fine and dandy; if not, it was considered bad luck! And a charred piece of it was also to be kept as the fire-starter for the following year's Christmas fire. Know any other facts about the Yule Log? Post a comment! Soon I'll be picking one comment each week and rewarding a free copy of the Christmas book to the commenter! Comments on all posts from October through December count!