Tuesday 18 December 2007

24-hour party pagans

The burning of a yule log is an old pagan tradition.

An oak or ash log would be brought into the house and lit on the shortest day of the year. It would be expected to burn throughout the longest night to guard against ghosts, goblins any any other baneful things that lurked outside in the darkness. Woe betide the household if the flames went out before dawn, though I'm sure much drinking and partying went on all the night to make sure it stayed alight.

After dawn, the ashes could be scattered around the house for good luck in the coming year.

Nowadays, if you don't fancy sitting up all night to tend a fire or don't have an open fireplace, you can drill holes in an oak or ash log to hold candles.

What the bad witch will be doing is making (or buying) a delicious chocolate yule log, decorating it with four sparklers and inviting everyone to make a wish as they light them.

Obviously, don't leave lit candles or fires unattended for safety reasons.

Here are some useful links:

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