Cool Yule! The Longest Night is here -The Winter Solstice

Most people are still rushing around, two lines from a song they heard three shops ago on repeat in their heads, carrying more bags than acceptable is comfortable, wondering which pocket they tucked their list in and laughing at the idea that anyone only has to check a list twice. Let’s just say, most people don’t notice Yule (The Winter Solstice) as it passes on by. It’s only 4 sleeps to Christmas for frig’s sake! There’s things still to do!

Just like Christmas, it’s a time for feasting, dancing, and spending time with loved ones. 
So light the fire, roast a side of beef, drink beer, and look to the future. , Wassail!

Of course, you could take a break from all that crazy, start a new yearly Winter Solstice tradition, and have a cosy night in -with the beef and beer by the fire. And maybe one or two slightly darker Christmas movies.

Did you watch The chilling Adventures of Sabrina Christmas Special where they celebrated the winter solstice? 

all about Yule

Why Beef, Beer, and Fire?

Many believe that Yule and Christmas are the same thing, and to an extent they are. Many traditional activities undertaken at Yule or The Winter Solstice were merged with what we now call Christmas when the Romans started practicing Christianity. Whilst modern traditions include Wiccan’s who consider it the rebirth of the Great Horned God. During the Winter Solstice the cattle would be slaughtered so they wouldn’t need feeding over winter and the wine and beer would finally be fermented and ready for drinking, what better way to spend the darkest night?

From entering Stonehenge, on one of the rare occasions it’s allowed, to lantern festivals in Vancouver people still gather together to celebrate The Winter Solstice all over the world. 

This year Yule happens on the 21st of December – when the North Pole is tilted furthest from the sun at -23 degrees. Which will happen at 22:23 GMT tonight. And on a Friday too, named for the Goddess Frigg -Odin’s wife.

The Wild Hunt

And some connect the Winter Solstice celebrations with The Wild Hunt. Some say the leader of The Wild Hunt is Odin but other versions suggest the leader is a mythological creature derived from the Goddess Frigg. Perhaps you will hear the hunt, the horses whinnying or the two dogs, one louder than the other.

Moon & Stars

If you have clear skies and look up you might just see a rain of stars as the annual meteor shower does its thing, peaking just a few days after the solstice.

Plus, this year’s Yule is followed by a full moon known as the Cold Moon. It’ll appear full on Friday night too, the night of the Solstice and be extra bright. And this Winter Solstice followed by the Cold Moon thing won’t happen again until 2029.

So however you’re spending your Winter Solstice – Have a good one, keep your thoughts on what you want for the coming year, and forgive yourself and others for the negative stuff you’ve been holding on to. Because tonight is full of magic and promise and we could all do with a little of that. 

And if you’re still looking for that last minute present (for yourself) why not surprise that special someone with a Netflix** gift card?

**Not an affiliate link, just thought you should treat yourself 😉