Yule Traditions

05 Dec 2016 06:59 #1 by zanna
zanna created the topic: Yule Traditions
As we continue through the wheel of the year, I would love to hear how everyone celebrates the Yule/Midwinter season. I just moved from a northern region where winters are snowy and cold to a southern state where it's still in he 50's and a bit rainy. With all the craziness of the move, I'm working on getting settled in the new home and am hoping by reading everyone's traditions I can settle into the mood of the season as well.

If you can't handle an hour of leisure time, then eternity is going to be a problem.

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05 Dec 2016 19:47 #2 by Otatara
Otatara replied the topic: Yule Traditions
Well Zanna, this should make you giggle.

Here in New Zealand, despite the temperature being around 23C or 73F in the west of New Zealand and up to 30C - 86F in the east on Christmas Day,
we tend to carry on the traditions of our ancestors - most of the country are fully or partly of Northern European descent, regardless that their Christmas/Yule is in early winter, and ours is in early summer.

So, some families like my own have a fake Christmas tree, and some families have a just cut down pine tree.
In both cases, much tinsel is applied, and stars, and bright red balls, and sometimes an angel on the top, or an extra large star instead.
A roast is cooked - often turkey, sometimes chicken, stuffed with bread and herbs, or with sausage, occasionally beef or lamb, and served with new potatoes, peas, carrots, and gravy, with cranberry sauce if poultry is served.
Some families have the traditional Christmas Pudding of the United Kingdom, with much dried fruit and brandy, and steamed in the stockpot, with custard.
Others have a pavlova - a kind of gigantic meringue covered with cream, strawberries, and kiwifruit.
In the evening, ham is carved from a full leg (very costly) and served with salad, and often trifle - a dessert of sponge cake, tinned fruit, custard, cream, and strawberries,
for dessert.

Others will be more sensible and have a barbecue outside, but traditional eating patterns die hard.
It will be a more special barbecue than usual of course - including seafood, often the largest and freshest the family can afford, well marinated meat, and
the more expensive types of sausage that have less, or no breadcrumbs in them, unlike the usual ones bought in this country.
Salads are the usual accompaniment and they often have a pavlova for dessert too.

And of course there are the presents - the commercialisation of Christmas is, I feel, utterly disgusting, and I am not even a practicing Christian!
People who do not follow that religion, but are happy to celebrate its feast days, should at least note that gifts are a commemoration of the Three Wise Men giving gifts to Christ, not an excuse to buy out the department store, but I digress.

People tend to set foot in a church for the only time of the year, sometimes out of their own beliefs, more often out of respect for the beliefs of other family members, and their parents in particular.

Of course, not everyone does that, and for people of other religions it might be just another day, or it could be like a Hindu colleague's house where the day itself has much less meaning- they have their own festival days, but they are very conscious of the majority of the country, so they do presents, and have a more special meal than usual, and make an extra offering to Krishna "as it is a special day of our adopted country, so we are adapting to it." His shrine in their home gets an extra decoration that day too.

For a few, Yule is quietly celebrated as its customs - particularly the tree, and the day itself, have fitted neatly into the Christian traditions brought to this land in 1840.
They just have their own religious slant, and celebrate the gods quietly at home before throwing a family party like most of the country.

As to why, exactly, New Zealanders are so bound to European Traditions when we are as far away from Europe as you can get - if you tunneled through the earth from my own city, you would end up a little to the east of Merida, Spain - I have absolutely no idea. It is probably because as the Europeans took off to all the ends of the earth, they brought their traditions with them.

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06 Dec 2016 16:45 #3 by Ouroboros
Ouroboros replied the topic: Yule Traditions
I live in Canada, so we get snow. I have a Yule tree and I celebrate the Solstice by lighting all my candles and giving thanks for all my blessings and friends. I may do a Spell if it is appropriate. But generally a time for Friends and Family and Feasting.
Wishing all of you a Blessed Yule! No matter where you live.

love and Laughter

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