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.

Recent Headlines

yesterday in Music

William Hurt exits George Allman biopic

williamhurt

The actor has pulled out of "Midnight Rider," two months after a camera assistant died while filming a scene.

yesterday in Music

Rick Springfield embarking on solo tour

springfield

The "Jessie's Girl" hitmaker will head to his native Australia for a tour.

yesterday in Entertainment

Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o named ‘most beautiful’

people

The actress was named as the world's most beautiful woman for 2014 by "People" magazine.

yesterday in Music

Blondie marks 40th anniversary with new music

blondie

The band will mark four decades in the music business with a two-disc set.

yesterday in Entertainment

‘Peeps’ coming to a big screen in marshmallow movie

peeps

The film focuses on the sugary confections as they prepare to be judged at the annual Peeps diorama contest.