Alban Arthuan or Yule
I give this time both title as I don't observe it in the same way as it is now, the druids would have called the winter solstice Alban Arthuan but I also acknowledge that in other cultures it is known as Yule. Although I do feel happy at this time of the year because although my family are long since gone I still have plenty of people I am close to celebrate with. It always best to keep cosy this time of the year since the nights are longer and colder so however you like to spend these colder nights make sure you are safe ans warm.
I am not saying that we didn't have a tree in the house at this time of year or that we didn't feast and make merry because we most certainly did but it wasn't totally the same. The twelve days of what is known as Christmas weren't as they are now when I was growing up these last days of the year was the coldest and the nights were long because it was believed that the sun paused for these days so we had to burn the yule logs to persuaded to move again, this also gave us protection during these cold times as the fire would keep away any animals or evil spirits until the days became longer. This log was a whole tree trimmed and brought into the home, in our village we did one for the whole village and each family would take it in turns to guard it and keep it burning. It makes me laugh to see Yule logs made of chocolate theses days but I love how they are decorated and really do look like trees plus they are delicious so can't say bad to that, Another way that we kept evil spirits away was with mistletoe.
Alban Arthan is when we would commorate the time when the archetypal Holly King was defeated by his son the Oak King the Holly King is represented by the wren and the Oak King is represented by the robin red breast. Mistletoe was seen to be a symbolise life still lasting during the cold winter.
We also would bring branches of trees indoors. We were allowed to cut these trees down because they were protected. Tress such as holly and ivy are evergreen as well as mistletoe so they were brought into homes as a way of protecting the homes from evil spirits also these trees were believed to be magic as they are ever green meaning they can survive over the summer we hope this magic would rub of on is and help us survive the cold. If you had faeries in these branches allowing them to keep warm then that was said to bring good luck to your family.
I know I haven'r spoke much about this but this wasn't meant to be much of a story more of a little bit of info on how we kept this time of year. It was always more dangerous and cold but I hope no matter how you are celebration this yule time stay safe and warm as I have said already. Hope your Yule time brings you peace. Sorry no good at this sign of thing as it's not a normal thing for me.
This was something I learnt a long time ago for this time of year.
Nollaig Shona Dhuit agus Bliain Nua Fe Mhaise
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone however you celebrate have a good one and stay safe. See you all in the 2023