Yule

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A Pagan family's Yule tree may resemble a Christian family's Christmas tree; the latter derives from the former
An early 20th century Yuletide postcard showing a decorated pine tree and garlands of mistletoe

Yule, also known as Midwinter, Yuletide, Cuidle, Alban Arthan, Winter Rite, Mothers Night, and Gŵyl Galan Gaeaf is a seasonal Pagan and Neo-Pagan festival which is celebrated as one of the eight holidays on The Wheel of the Year.

In the Northern Hemisphere it is held on December 19 - December 23 (during the Winter Solstice) when the Sun is at 0° Capricorn.

In the Southern Hemisphere it is held on June 19 - June 23 (during the Winter Solstice) when the Sun is at 0° Cancer.

The mid-winter festival of Yule is an ancient 12-day Germanic holiday that incorporates the Winter Solstice. Yule rites have historically varied from one region of Europe to another. In the North, Yule is associated with the Great Hunt and the Nordic All-Father, Odin, who leads the Great Hunt, but as Mothers Night, Yule is also linked to the ancient Matron cult of the West Germanic people and the Disting cult of Scandinavia.

Modern Wiccans commemorate the great Horned God Cernunnos of the Celts at Yule, contemporary adherents to the Asatru venerate Odin, and others incorporate a variety of Christian elements into their Yule festival, such as associating the rites of the Austrian winter woods-god Krampus with the annual visitation of the Catholic Saint Nicholas.

Historical and contemporary Yule customs include feasting on boar or ham; engaging in rounds of alcoholic toasts; group caroling or singing; giving presents; burning the Yule log; and decorating the home with evergreens such as pine or spruce trees, garlands of holly, and sprigs of mistletoe.

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