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 Black Friday, Viral Videos

WATCH: What ‘Black Friday’ would look like as a scary movie

Fresh
20-overlay6

Black Friday would be a scary shopping experience if it got the Hollywood treatment.

in Sports

FSU remains No. 1

Fresh
floridastate

Florida State remains No. 1 with Alabama No. 2, Oregon third and Mississippi State fourth.

in National

Hagel resigns as Defense Secretary

Fresh
hagel

U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down.

in Entertainment

Channing Tatum going behind the camera to direct

tatum

The "Magic Mike" star is taking on an adaptation of young-adult novel "Forgive Me."

in Entertainment

Natalie Dormer wants more nudity in ‘Game of Thrones’

nataliedormer

The "Game of Thrones" star wants more male nudity in the raunchy medieval-fantasy series.