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

in Sports, Viral Videos

David Beckham for ‘D&J Briefs’

21-overlay5

It's underwear for a man with a great body ... and David Beckham.

in National, Viral Videos

Girl, 4, boards bus for 3 a.m. snack run

16-overlay3

Little Annabelle Ridgeway was determined to get a slushie.

in Entertainment

Trevor Noah set to replace Stewart on ‘Daily Show’

trevornoah

Comedy Central has named Trevor Noah, a 31-year-old comedian from South Africa, as Jon Stewart's replacement.

in Entertainment

‘Home’ tops weekend box office

home

Jennifer Lopez and Rihanna's new animated movie raked in $54 million this weekend.

in Entertainment

Hugh Jackman is done with ‘Wolverine’

Hugh Jackman

Jackman has played Wolverine for the past 15 years, including two stand-alone sequels.