December 19, 2013

Twleve Days of Tudor Christmas: The Yule Log

On the sixth day of our Tudor Twelve Days of Christmas we will discuss the burning the Yule Log, an extremely popular tradition in Tudor and Stuart England. In Tudor times, young males would find and drag a heavy log into a home and place it in the hearth. The log was usually decorated by the young maids of the household with ribbons and greenery, while the young men were rewarded with beer. A remnant of the previous year's Yule Log was used to light the new log. It was meant to represent protection from evil, and was a surviving remnant of the pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice. The log, due to its size and denseness, would burn the entire Twelve Days of Christmas. Once the log had burned down, a remnant was taken and kept for the next year.

The burning of the Yule Log is rarely practiced in today's Christmas festivities. Rather, a Yule Log (a chocolate and cream cake made in the shape of a log) is often made and eaten in modern Christmas celebrations. They are pretty delicious, I must say.

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