It's easy to see parallels between Yule and Christmas. This party originally lasted 12 days and was mainly a family party in which banquets were held and gifts were exchanged, does it ring a bell? Although this celebration dates back to ancient Rome, when the Romans observed Saturnalia and celebrated the festival of the Roman deity Mithras (god of the sun). In most European languages Christmas, Nativity and Yule are understood as synonyms for the same celebration. The concept of Christmas no longer belongs only to the people who practice it, society in general has adopted it as a popular holiday and many non-religious homes celebrate it.
The date of Jesu s' birth, which is what is commemorated in these holidays, is unknown. The Church decided to set this date due to the problems it was having to fight against paganism, they chose an important pagan festival whose connotation could be similar to the birth of Jesus and thus supplant this festival. The date chosen was the winter solstice, a phenomenon that all ancient cultures were aware of and many of them celebrated, so we would be talking about a full-fledged appropriation, they chose the "new birth" of the sun to celebrate the birth of Jesus.
Many pagan traditions have endured over time, but the one that most attracts our attention is that of the magical origins of the Christmas tree, or rather the Yule tree. Before the arrival of Christianity, pagans introduced perennial plants into their homes as an act of offering to the sun god, to represent the tree of life, because evergreen trees retain their needles even during the cold winter months. They symbolize the triumph of life over death. People danced around the magical fir trees and decorated them with painted eggs, charms, and flowers. It is very likely that Christmas trees have their origin in this old tradition since before the arrival of Christians in Europe they are not known to carry out this practice.
Burning the Yule log is another ancient tradition that pagans celebrated on winter solstice and we love it. On Yule eve, witches light a fire to symbolize the return of the sun. After the fire is out, anyone who wishes can take ashes and wrap them in a cloth to place under their pillow that night. Don't be scared if you have strange dreams, the ashes help to have dreams that serve as a guide for the next year.
And now that you know a little more about the origins of Christmas, do you dare to try burning the Yule log? We will do it for sure!