Christmas In SCANDINAVIA

It is from Scandinavia that most of our yule log traditions derive. The dark cold winters inspired the development of traditions concerned with warmth and light. Yuletide, meaning "the turning of the sun" or the winter solstice, has traditionally been a time of extreme importance in Scandinavia - a time when fortunes for the coming year were determined and when the dead were thought to walk the earth. For a long time, it was considered dangerous to sleep alone on Christmas Eve. The extended family, master and servant, alike would sleep together on a freshly spread bed of straw.

The Yule log was originally an entire tree, carefully chosen, and brought into the house with great ceremony. The butt end would be place into the hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room. The tree would be slowly fed into the fire and the entire process was carefully timed to last the entire Yule season.

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