News

Yule log signifies custom of days gone by

Yule log signifies custom of days gone by

YULE LOG: For centuries, the yule log was a tradition in many European homes. Photo: clipart.com

For many lovers of holiday sweets, the Yule log is known as a tasty treat. But for others, it’s a reminder of an old custom gone by.

As far back as the 12th century, many Europeans would mark the holidays with the lighting of the Yule log.

They’d chop down an enormous log and, according to custom, bring the wood into the house amid great ceremony on Christmas Eve.

The master of the house would often sprinkle the log with oil, salt and wine while saying suitable prayers.

In some families, the mother would then light the wood, while children had the privilege in other homes.

It was said the cinders of the log would ward off the evil powers of the devil.

The tradition persisted in Europe, and even in Canada, until the last quarter of the 19th century.

But experts say its disappearance coincides with the advent of the cast-iron stove, which largely replaced the great wood-burning hearths.

Today, the Yule log has become a traditional pastry, generally a cake roll, smothered in coffee or chocolate-flavored icing, and decorated with sugared holly leaves and roses.

Latest Stories

in Entertainment

Bryan Cranston laughs off ‘Breaking Bad’ toy controversy

Fresh
breaking

A Florida mom wants action figures from the popular series banned from Toys 'R' Us stores.

in Viral Videos

Brad Pitt in ‘Furby’

Fresh
17-overlay1

What if the WWII tank movie was remade with the furry toys?

in National

Ebola is low on our list of concerns

Fresh
ebolaprotest

A new poll shows Ebola ranks well behind the economy, jobs, and other issues among America's top problems.

in Entertainment

Jimmy Fallon penning picture book

Fresh
jimmyfallon

Fallon's daughter Winnie Rose has inspired the picture book, which will hit store shelves this summer.

in Entertainment

My Little Pony coming to the big screen

mylittlepony

The tiny ponies are coming to big screen, and are set to make their movie debut in 2017.