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Yule or Yuletide is the pagan holiday that takes place on the day of the winter solstice that usually falls on the 21st day of December in the Northern Hemisphere. The Feast of Juul variously originates from the pre-Christian Scandinavian cultures of the Celts, Norse, Germans, and Romans.
See the fact file below for more interesting Yule facts or alternatively, you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment
- Yuletide is generally celebrated by European Christians during the winter solstice. In particular, Wiccans celebrate the event on or near the 21st day of December, while most Northern Europeans coincide the feasting with Christmas day.
- Winter solstice happens when the Earth’s axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the time when the sun reaches its longest distance from the equatorial plane, resulting in the longest night.
- Norse people have celebrated the winter solstice for hundreds of years. For them, it is the time for feast and sacrifice. Traditional customs, such as the yule log, wassailing, and tree decorating are of Norse origin.
- In pre-Christian Scandinavia, Yuletide, or the Feasts of Juul celebration, lasted for 12 days.
- For the Germanic people, Yule is their indigenous midwinter festival. Ancient customs highlighted the ritual of sacrifice. All farmers would bring food to the temple for the duration of the feast. Livestock including horses would form part of the sacrifice. They believed that the god Odin led the ghostly procession in the sky known as the Wild Hunt.
- According to Celtic legend, Yule represents the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. The Oak King stands for the light of the year while the Holly King symbolizes darkness. Wiccan rituals usually include a reenactment of the battle.
- Yuletide is also celebrated as the birth of the sun. In ancient Egypt, the day commemorated the rebirth of Ra, the sun god. They believed that every year was a cycle of birth, death and rebirth.
- The Feast of Juul is celebrated in Scandinavia with burning of logs to symbolize heat and light in honor of the Norse god, Thor. Ashes are collected and thrown over the fields until the twelfth night of the celebration.
- In France, peasants believed that keeping the ashes under the bed would protect the house against lightning and thunder.
- During the Yuletide season, homes are decorated with sacred plants such as evergreen wreaths, mistletoe, holly and ivy.
- The colors of Yule include red for waning (diminishing) the Holly king, green for waxing (increasing) the Oak king, white stands for purity and hope, silver symbolizes the moon, and gold represents the sun.
- Yule log cake is a traditional food during Yule along with gingerbread, fruits, berries, nuts, turkey, eggnog and ginger tea.
This bundle contains 11 ready-to-use Yule Worksheets that are perfect for students who want to learn more about Yule or Yuletide which is the pagan holiday that takes place on the day of the winter solstice that usually falls on the 21st day of December in the Northern Hemisphere.
Download includes the following worksheets:
- Yule Facts
- December Solstice
- Colors of Yule
- Solstice Facts
- The Sun Gods
- Yuletide Symbols
- Mapping Yule
- Thor: The God of Thunder
- Festival of Lights
- Photo Log
- Yule to Remember
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Link will appear as Yule Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, November 30, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
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