HISTORIC “Yule” Celebrations
i find many contradictions and few FACTS for ancient celebrations of Yule,
but that is to be expected when they are ANCIENT celebrations in several different areas of the world.
For most of my ancestors, Yule was probably a multi-day celebration following Winter Solstice.
Germanic “Yuletide” became the Christianized “Christmastide”;
a 12-day festival involving both the end portions of December and the first few days of January.
After Constantine converted to Christianity, Re-interpretation of non-Christian elements of culture was an important strategy of the Catholic faith.
Each day was Feast-Day for a Saint.
In Christian Timing,
“Advent” were the days leading up to Christmas,
Christmas tree might be decorated AFTER Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve (but not before),
and “ChristmasTide” were the 12 days from Christmas until date for the Epiphany (5Jan).
With the extreme commercialism of the holiday,
now-a-days the importance of THANKSgiving has nearly disappeared,
with appeals for Christmas beginning immediately after Halloween.
— And the marketing for those holiday efforts is by Christmas decorations prominently displayed throughout November, until exactly 24 December.
But all Christmas events,
(and it seems greetings for Christmas Joy and Love)
terminate within a day or two of Christmas.
In contrast to a few generations ago,
it is now considered extremely bad form if you still have your tree up at New Year’s Eve.
In my own observance of both local and online community,
“ChristmasTide” — and the 12 days of Christmas
has thoroughly disappeared in the 21st century.
In fact, i think most of my friends are under the impression that the 12 days of Christmas is equivalent to the Advent — which is days BEFORE Christmas !!!
History dot com says Germany is credited with starting the Christmas tree tradition as we now know it
in the 16th century (the 1500s)
when devout Christians brought decorated trees into their homes.
Grandma Florence Michaelis.
i do not have a “Christmas” tree,
but i think of my paternal German grandmother on these days.
Florence Michaelis enjoyed her inside tree as long as possible, adding hearts for St Valentine in February, … and one year eventually adding the bird nests she had gathered, to celebrate Spring.
They usually traveled to the Lake property in Minnesota during spring and summer months, so the tree probably went back outside until they returned to the West Coast when the snow and ice started in Minnesota.
The Michaelis German Ancestors (including Ebben, Gilles, and Orth families along with Michaelis) immigrated to Minnesota, and the larger family units still lived there when Grandma was alive.
Wiki on “Yule” at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule ;
Biblical Archaeology Society at https://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/people-cultures-in-the-bible/jesus-historical-jesus/how-december-25-became-christmas/ ;
“Why Christmas” was a project with local school teachers. Pg at https://www.whychristmas.com/customs/12daysofchristmas.shtml .
“WorldAtlas” offers these Christian explanations at https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-12-days-of-christmas.html .
History dot com on Christmas at https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas , and Christmas Tree at https://www.history.com/topics/christmas/history-of-christmas-trees .
Wiki on the incarnation at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarnation_(Christianity) .
Religion and the Date of Christmas:
If i recall correctly, the Christian church began debate of possible “birthday” for “Jesus” in the late 200s, and 336?? sticks in my mind for something??
Christmas is not a Christian birthday party; it is the commemoration of “The Incarnation of Christ”.
In Christian doctrine “Incarnation” refers to the act of a pre-existent divine person, the Son of God, in becoming a human being, and this doctrine was established with the Nicene Creed (in 325 and 381).
… But First century Jewish historian Josephus noted that Jewish families did NOT celebrate birthdays. Since early Christians were mostly of Jewish descent, it is no surprise that for the first few hundred years, the Christian Church considered birthday celebrations an evil practice (from non-believers).
… Thus the DEBATE centuries later, to decide what was the most probable time for the birth of Jesus (Jewish child probably called “Yeshua”, but most Christians recognize him by the Greek name of “Jesus”).
Both of my paternal branches (Sweden and Germany) had ancient Yule traditions … and this video brings several interesting aspects for my Swedish ancestors (including mandate to drink at LEAST 4 gallons of mead per person):
… and Family History index is at https://truthfulkindness.com/about/life-other/family-history-index/ . .
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