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Lesson Plans


Winter Solstice - Yule

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Lawrence A. Parker/OCCTI (occti)
Tue, 21 Dec 1999 13:23:55 -0500


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----- Original Message -----=20
From: Bo=20
To: Human_ism=20
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 1999 12:40 PM
Subject: [Human_ism] Winter Solicit

Today is Winter Solstice, and to all my pagan friends (and enemies) =
Happy Holidays. A few facts about this celebration.
=20
=20
Christmas was once a moveable feast celebrated many different times =
during the year. The choice of December 25 was made by the Pope Julius I =
in the fourth century AD because this coincided with the pagan rituals =
of Winter Solstice, or Return of the Sun. The intent was to replace the =
pagan celebration with the Christian one. =20

Before Christianity the Swedish people celebrated "midvinterblot" at =
winter solstice. It simply means "mid-winter-blood", and featured both =
animal and human sacrifice. This tradition took place at certain cult =
places, and basically every old Swedish church is built on such a place. =
The pagan tradition was finally abandoned around 1200 AD, due to the =
missionaries persistence. (Of course they were sacrificed too, by the =
Vikings, in the beginning.) Midvinterblot paid tribute to the local =
gods, appealing to them to let go of the winter's grip. The winters in =
Scandinavia are dark and grim, and these were the days before central =
heating. And the Gods were powerful. To this day Thursday is named after =
the war god Thor. Friday after Freja (fertility) It is interesting to =
note that to this day the Swedish name for Christmas is Jul (Yule), and =
the Jul gnome has a more important role than Christmas father or the =
Christchild. You don't kill those pagan traditions easily. The old =
Viking religion with Thor and his friends is still practiced by some =
people, somewhat less bloodily. =20

Winter Solstice celebrations are held on the eve of the shortest day of =
the year. During the first millennium in what is today Scotland, the =
Druids celebrated Winter Solstice honoring their Sun God and rejoicing =
his return as the days got longer, signaling the coming of spring. This =
tradition still lives today in the Wiccan traditions and in many =
cultures around the world.
=20
Bo
"The approach of Christmas brings harassment and dread to many excellent =
people. They have to buy a cart-load of presents, and they never know =
what to buy to hit the various tastes; they put in three weeks of hard =
and anxious work, and when Christmas morning comes they are so =
dissatisfied with the result, and so disappointed that they want to sit =
down and cry. Then they give thanks that Christmas comes but once a =
year."
- Following the Equator----Mark Twain

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----- Original Message -----=20
From: Bo=20
To: Human_ism
Sent: Tuesday, December 21, 1999 12:40 PM
Subject: [Human_ism] Winter Solicit

Today is Winter Solstice, and to all my = pagan=20 friends (and enemies) Happy Holidays.  A few facts about this=20 celebration.
 
 
Christmas was once a moveable feast = celebrated many=20 different times during the year. The choice of December 25 was made by = the Pope=20 Julius I in the fourth century AD because this coincided with the pagan = rituals=20 of Winter Solstice, or Return of the Sun. The intent was to replace the = pagan=20 celebration with the Christian one. 
 
Before Christianity the Swedish people = celebrated=20 "midvinterblot" at winter solstice. It simply means "mid-winter-blood", = and=20 featured both animal and human sacrifice. This tradition took place at = certain=20 cult places, and basically every old Swedish church is built on such a = place.=20 The pagan tradition was finally abandoned around 1200 AD, due to the=20 missionaries persistence. (Of course they were sacrificed too, by the = Vikings,=20 in the beginning.) Midvinterblot paid tribute to the local gods, = appealing to=20 them to let go of the winter's grip. The winters in Scandinavia are dark = and=20 grim, and these were the days before central heating. And the Gods were=20 powerful. To this day Thursday is = named after the=20 war god Thor. Friday after Freja (fertility) It is interesting to note = that to=20 this day the Swedish name for Christmas is Jul (Yule), and the Jul gnome = has a=20 more important role than Christmas father or the Christchild. You don't = kill=20 those pagan traditions easily. The old Viking religion with Thor and his = friends=20 is still practiced by some people, somewhat less bloodily.  =
 
Winter Solstice celebrations are held = on the eve of=20 the shortest day of the year. During the first millennium in what is = today=20 Scotland, the Druids celebrated Winter Solstice honoring their Sun God = and=20 rejoicing his return as the days got longer, signaling the coming of=20 spring. This tradition still lives today in the Wiccan traditions = and in=20 many cultures around the world.
 
Bo

"The approach of Christmas brings harassment and dread to many = excellent=20 people. They have to buy a cart-load of presents, and they never know = what to=20 buy to hit the various tastes; they put in three weeks of hard and = anxious work,=20 and when Christmas morning comes they are so dissatisfied with the = result, and=20 so disappointed that they want to sit down and cry. Then they give = thanks that=20 Christmas comes but once a year."
- Following the Equator----Mark=20 Twain

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