One of the most controversial and popular holidays of the year, Yule orChristmas was originally a celebration of the return of the Sun or rebirth of the God. Itis also the symbolic death of the Holly King who reigns during the waning year, afterbeing defeated by the Oak King who reigns during the waxing year.
The Christian faith adopted Yule as a celebration of the birth of Jesusthe Christ. Although his birth is believed to be around the springtime, in order to adjustand adopt the Pagan celebration of the Winter Solstice, the Judeo-Christian movemententiced others to come over to their way by utilizing this important celebration.Christmas has become so commercialized and politicized that the true meaning has been lostthrough a lot of rhetoric and gift-giving as a chore, rather than a happy celebration.
One of the original meanings behind exchanging gifts around this time ofyear started with the ancients who, because of the cold winter months, could do littlemore than weave blankets, clothes or other such crafts for the months while they werestuck inside. As a part of the celebration, people would exchange the crafts they toiledover as a way to venerate the holiday and bring the family closer.
Christian beliefs share a similar view in that the three wise-men(possibly Druids) brought gifts to honor the baby Jesus on his birth. In honor of this theidea of sharing gifts and family carried on for many years to the present day. Since Yuleor Winter Solstice was traditionally a celebration of the return of the Sun, theChristians took that opportunity to use the birth of the 'Son' to coincide and helpconvert the 'heathens' who still practiced the Pagan beliefs.
The Yule log, another term for a way of keeping warm, wastraditionalized by this celebration. In addition, the Christmas tree and other greeneryused to decorate the inside of the house was popular in all seasonal celebrations. Holly,ivy and evergreens were among the seasonal plants still available during the winter aswere other plants such as mistletoe from the Oak, yew and cypress.
The popular Christmas feast was a way to combat boredom as well as thecelebration of the coming warmth. Now it is done out of habit rather than necessity orreason.
The time of the Winter Solstice varied from year to year as did theseasons. Generally it is celebrated on or around the 21st of December, when the night isthe longest of the year and the days begin to grow longer.
Again, Christmas, Yule or whichever term you wish to use has lost a lotof meaning by commercialism, office parties, home gatherings and great feasts and ofcourse the fight for Furbys and Beanie Babies!! In all, the original true meaning of Yuleor Christmas has been lost in the politicized eloquence that has become known as the'legal' holiday. It is time to return to the true meaning of real giving and celebrationof the return of the light.
Traditional colors are red and green.
Traditional items are evergreens, such as ivy, cypress, holly,yew, and the Yule tree.