Yule/Winter Solstice is celebrated December 19 – 23 for Northern Hemisphere and June 19 -23 for Southern Hemisphere.
Yule, the shortest day/longest night of the year, is a Lesser Wiccan Sabbat and greatly celebrated and known as Winter Solstice, Midwinter, Yuletide, Sun Return, Pagan New Year, Great Day of the Cauldron, and Festival of Sol. This is the time of cold, darkness, rebirth of the Sun God, renewal, and waxing sun overcoming the waning sun.
Representation & Associations of Yule/Winter Solstice: In Midsummer, we have the Oak King representing death; in Midwinter we have the Holly King representing death. Both the oak and holly can be symbols for your celebrations during Yule representing birth and death. A wand, rune set or simply a small piece of each, oak and holly, can decorate your altar all through the year. The Oak is prominant from Winter Solstice to Summer Solstice when the Holly becomes dominant until Winter Solstice.
As this time of darkness on the shortest day of the year, we begin celebrating the return of the sun which can be represented with various sun/solar symbols, yule logs, candles, wheel of the year, evergreens, wreaths, holly, mistletoe, trees and nuts.
Colors for Winter Celebrations are green, red, white, silver and gold.
Gemstones for your celebrations at this time include bloodstone, ruby, garnet, green aventurine, emerald, red jasper and moonstone.
Animals associated with Yule are deer, reindeer, squirrels, chickadees, blue jays, cardinals as well as the mythical phoenix.
Herbs, Resins, Plants and Trees for this time are holly, oak, greens, bayberries, dried rose petals/buds, oranges, cranberries, mistletoe, bay, pine, ginger, valerian, frankincense, cinnamon, and myrrh. This is such a festive time of year and many of the above are combined to make or add to wreaths, bundles and boughs and further decorated with sun and star symbols.
Celebrate with foods from local and personal harvests: pears, apples, oranges, lemons, cranberries, cinnamon sticks, popcorn, nuts, corn, pork, cookies, cakes, wine, cider, mulled cider, ginger tea and various fruit and vegetable pies. Again, at this festive time, many of these foods/spices can be used for decorations, added to garlands and greens as well as to make potpourris and incense.
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