In the ancient world, the Winter Solstice, occurring between December 21-December 22, was an important turning point in the Pagan calendar. It marked the shortest day of the year. From that day forward, daylight hours would gradually increase, bringing a promise of the eventual return of spring.
The Goddess was seen as the Great Mother. The ancients believed she gave birth to the Sun King at this sacred time of turning. She brought the hope of renewed warmth, fertility and abundance to a winter-weary world.
The coming of Yule was celebrated with great joy. Boughs of evergreen, holly and mistletoe decorated homes. Yule logs and Yule candles, symbolizing the rebirth of the sun, were burned. Trees were decorated. It was a glorious festival of light, marked with gift giving and the sharing of the Wassail cup.
In the fourth century AD, Pope Julius 1 fixed the Christian Christmas celebration at December 25th, which coincided with traditional Yuletide celebrations. Thanks to this decision, Christians adopted and now enjoy many of the beautiful traditions set by our ancestors.
Celebrate the rich diversity that brings so much delight at this blessed time!
To see Yuletide Joy as a musical egoddesscard click here. You need to purchase an Annual Membership to send her as an ecard. Membership costs $19.95, and entitles you to send as many ecards as you like for one year.