Winter Solstice, Yuletide, Mother Night, Winter Rite, Festival of Sol Invictus/Mithras, Saturnalia (Roman), Cuidle, Gŵyl Galan Gaeaf, Meán Geimhridh (Welsh), Alban Arthan/Arthuan (Druid, ‘Light of Arthur/Winter’), Jol/Yuleblot (Norse) ~ December 20-23 Yule, or Midwinter, celebrates the winter solstice, a time of renewal and rebirth. It marks the shortest day of the year, after which theContinue reading “Yule / Midwinter”
Winternights (Vetrnætr) is one of the three major festivals celebrated in pre-Christian Scandinavia, the others being midwinter (Yule, Jól/Jólablót, Hökunótt) and the beginning of the summer raiding season (Sigrblót “Victory Blot” or Sumarmál). Snorri Sturluson wrote of these festivals in the Ynglinga saga of the Heimskringla: “There should be a sacrifice at the beginning ofContinue reading “Winternights”
Christmas as we know it today has developed from a variety of origins, including pagan ones! Things like the evergreen tree, mistletoe, gift giving, and even the birth date of Jesus have come from pagan sources.
‘Hogmanay’ is celebrated in Scotland on the last day of the year, with festivities often extending until the first or second day of the New Year. Also known as Ne’erday (Netherday, New Year’s Day), Hogmanay is thought to be related to pagan celebrations such as the Winter Solstice and Yule. The origin of the termContinue reading “Hogmanay”