‘Tis the season! There’s a nip in the air, and many different celebrations are happening: Hanukkah, Ramadan, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and of course, the Winter Solstice, or Yule! The Winter Solstice marks the official start of winter and usually falls around December 21st. It’s also the longest night of the year when the Oak King wins the annual battle against the Holly King. After which, the days begin to get lighter. Regardless of the celebration, many see this season as one of warmth, love, and family. Here are five ideas on how to celebrate Yule and incorporate its rich history with your family traditions!
1. Burn the Yule Log
The first thing to know about how to celebrate Yule is that the Yule Log is a common part of this season’s celebrations. All you need is a big piece of wood that you can burn during the length of the holiday. For those that have a fireplace in their home, you safely burn your Yule log there. If your home doesn’t have a fireplace, some well-placed candles on top of your Log will do the trick. Don’t forget to save a piece of your log to light the one of the following year!
2. Host a Winter Solstice Feast
Much like any major sabbat, Yule is as good a time as any to hold a big feast with your friends and family. After all, thinking about how to celebrate Yule just brings nostalgia of sitting down with your loved ones for a warm meal on a cold winters night. You can opt for the regular holiday spread or for new and exciting foods – any meal will bring your family together. However, if you aren’t a fan of cooking all on your own, a pot-luck style dinner will make sure everyone has many choices and flavors. Plus, it’s just a great way to try something new!
3. Honor the Sun
Another easy way to celebrate is by simply watching the sunrise or set. As the Oak King is the representation of light, it is a good time to honor and pay respects to his triumph over the Holly King.
4. Deck the Halls
Bring some nature into your home with real holly and pine wreaths. You can use seasonal foliage like dry oranges, cinnamon, pinecones, etc. Natural, homemade decorations will bring joy to the whole family, but they’ll also be a joy to make with the family! Plus, the cleanup is much more environmentally friendly compared to the plastic decorations.
How to Celebrate Yule, The Winter Solstice:
Whether you spend your time making wreaths or singing around the burning Log, Yule is a time for family, love and warmth. Remember to give thanks for everything you have and remind those close to you of what they mean to you. That is the most important thing about how to celebrate Yule!