Celebrations: Yule

Yule, Yuletide, or the Winter Solstice is a religious festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later undergoing Christianised reformulation resulting in the now better known Christmastide. The earliest references to Yule are by way of indigenous Germanic month names Ærra Jéola (Before Yule) or Jiuli and Æftera Jéola (After Yule). Scholars have connected the celebration to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Modranicht. Continue reading

Celebrations: Samhain

Samhain (pronounced Sow-in or Sah-win) is a Gaelic festival to mark the end of the harvest and to mark the beginning of the “Darker Half” of the year, or Winter. Traditionally, the festival is celebrated from sunset on to October 31st to sunrise November 1st. It falls halfway between the autumn equinox and winter solstice, and is one of four such celebrations that include Imbolc, Beltane, and Lughnasadh. Historically, it has been celebrated throughout Ireland, and later, the Island of Man and Scotland.  Continue reading