A life demands a life. Sprinkle it with a libation of ale before setting light to it in your fireplace or outside. He is an academic and an animistic folk practitioner (of sorts) writing primarily for. Over the centuries, pagan Celtic customs merged with Christianity to produce some unique traditions for the winter festival. In the northern hemisphere, this date marks the turning point of the season, the shortest day and the longest night. Divinations were made according to the burst and snap of the willow, hazel or green ash bands around the log as it swelled in the fire. Traditions at this time of year maintain strong links with Viking and Gaelic celebrations of Yule time, or ‘Daft Days’ as they are known in Scotland. Cut of the twigs into smaller pieces and place them in the now boiling water. Scottish Christmas traditions Working on Christmas Day is now a distant memory for lots of Scots, but there are other old traditions that people still hold onto. The roots of the Christmas traditions that we recognize today can be traced back to pre-Christian celebrations of the Winter solstice. Though nature is at its lowest ebb at Yule, we still find a way to bring the power of the landscape in to our homes and communities. These standing stones date from about 3,000 years BC and, although academics still argue about their precise purpose, there is no questioning the powerful pull they have. We take a look at the almost completely lost highland tradition of the Clach an Groait stone, the world famous Orkney Ba tournament, and an old lady and her festive pig. Many of the Scottish traditions are rooted in the customs of ancient Celtic culture and the Roman Catholic Church practices. This ‘saved’ part of the log was said to protect houses from burning down and if kept under the bed was even said to protect from chilblains. Necromancy and the dead are very common in Scottish folk magic, which you can read more about here. First Footing After the stroke of midnight, neighbors visit each other, bearing traditional symbolic … Today's games are at the same time, both similar and dis similar, from the original Clan contests which are at the roots of these games. The dead would come a knocking at Yule time. In this episode, Annie and Jenny take a festive Yuletide jaunt around Christmas time traditions in Scotland. If the household managed to retain the bit of old Yule log they would use it to light the new one. There is no doubt the tree was held sacred by the people of the UK and beyond. Unlike in the past when Santa Claus would visit the first day of the New Year - Hogmanay, Santa has moved with the times and visits Scotland late Christmas Eve and the early hours of Christmas Day. Beare. Ash keys, once pickled, are a bit like capers. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months. The birch is a tree often associated with death. A loaf of unleavened bread was baked for each individual in the family - made with caraway seeds, it looks a bit like a rope arranged into a circle. Yule Figgy Pudding. “While Santa keeks doon frae the mantle above, Vikings began raiding Scotland in the late 700s AD.They later settled, bringing their own way pre-Christian way of celebrating the Winter Solstice, which they referred to as Jól (which became known as Yule in Scotland).Yule was celebrated for at least 12 days, and is believed to have been a way of honouring ancestors in the darkest time of the year. Instead, the habit of visiting each other’s houses on 26 th December has continued, without hunting small birds! In Scotland, you'll see Christmas trees lighting up people's houses and wreaths on the front door. Thanks to modern technology it is possible to experience a small part of what the original solstice celebrants must have envisioned. Not only for the light and warmth but also to keep alive a tradition with roots far deeper than any tree. For communities, this time of year was all about the feast, propitiation and divination and a rest from work. Each took turns Christmas Day being celebrated in Scotland on the 25th December. It was also the Druidic priests who maintained the tradition of the yule log. One is for birch twig tea, the other for pickled ash keys. Ash and human birth are linked in many ways. Christmas Special: Highland Yule Traditions. Come while the log is tending. Sun return’. It was on this day that they ceremonially gathered mistletoe from oak trees. (Interestingly a figure of a man was chalked in a similar fashion in Cornwall). In Somerset, folk placed part of the left over Yule log in the byre to create good fortune for calf rearing. Edinburgh. According to tradition it was extremely unlucky for a barefooted woman or a squint eyed man to see the yule log; and a flat footed visitor to the house whilst the log was burning was a very bad omen. Shamrock – national flower of Ireland . Christmas comes late for residents of one tiny Scottish island who will celebrate the festivities today in a tradition that has lasted for as long as anyone living there can remember. Some suggest this replaced the proprietary sacrifice required at this time. In Stromness, Orkney, up until 1936, a tug of war would ensue over the biggest Yule log. We take a look at the almost completely lost highland tradition of the Clach an Groait stone, the world famous Orkney Ba tournament, and an old lady and her festive pig. Traditionally the Yule bannock and other dishes should be cooked over the heat from the Yule log burning in the hearth throughout the festive time. And their hats made of the birk’. The ancient Romans also held a solstice festival at this time, called Saturnalia, to celebrate the rebirth of the year. The tree had to be gathered secretly from someone’s garden without them noticing or knowing. Penzance. This bizarre celebration takes place on the first day of the New Year. In some cases it had to burn continually from the 24th of December until Old Christmas Eve on the 5th of January. Our aim is to showcase the best the Scottish Highlands & Islands has to offer. the Yule log crackles oan this Christmas Nicht, Princes Risbororough, Shire. Christmas traditions in Scotland. Find a birch tree and take off some of the small twigs found at the edge of the branches. This ‘sacrifice’ helped keep death at bay until next Yule. Scottish Traditions Yule. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months. One still-popular custom is first-footing, which traditionally saw the first visitor to set foot in the household bring a gift such as coal, shortbread, salt, black bun or whisky. To make birch twig tea is really simple. If you didn’t, the cattle would suffer come the following year, or so folk believed. Whatever the exact origins of the rituals we practice this festive season, it does seem that there has been a growth of interest in traditional religions and practices. Christmas comes late for residents of one tiny Scottish island who will celebrate the festivities today in a tradition that has lasted for as long as anyone living there can remember. Nowadays at this time of year it is normal that people’s attention turns to celebrating Christmas, however, the ritual and history surrounding the solstice in this country and all over Europe, predate the arrival of Christianity by thousands of years and many festive celebrations have been adapted from much earlier traditions. Yule Cleansing Ritual. Take them home and bring about two cups of water to the boil. Plant lore is the verdant heart of Scottish folk holidays and traditions. We take a look at the almost completely lost highland tradition of the Clach an Groait stone, the world famous Orkney Ba tournament, and an old lady and her festive pig. A’ wheest in the daurk we savour oor love.” He was afraid that the world was returning to the chaos and emptiness that existed before creation, so he fasted. It's also a time to celebrate with family and friends, and share the spirit of giving during the holidays. On your psalters pray Others say it might be a way or propitiating the spirits, like ‘knocking on wood for luck’, or perhaps reminiscent of earlier sacrifices carried out at this time of year. There are a couple of ideas I’d like to share with you. Prior to the Reformation of 1560, Christmas in Scotland was called Yule, and also Yhoill or Yuil. As celebrations of saturnalia died away this evolved to become the pre-eminent winter festival, the date was eventually co-opted by Christians as the faith spread. Yule, the winter solstice, is a time of great symbolism and power.It marks the return of the sun, when the days finally begin to get a little longer. Leave the lid on. Some folk gently roast the twigs, which is said to make the brew a little sweeter. The huge Yule log was carried into the middle of town and ropes and chains attached. The birk in this case refers to the birch tree. I am Scottish and this is how my mother taught me how to cook this traditional Scottish stuffing. Ash is in the same family as the oilive tree (oleaceae). and for good successe in spending Yule or Yuletide ("Yule time" or "Yule season") is a festival historically observed by the Germanic peoples.Scholars have connected the original celebrations of Yule to the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht.. Later departing from its pagan roots, Yule underwent Christianised reformulation, resulting in the term Christmastide. The company was founded in 1975 by his father James C. Yule and Jim has carried on the tradition, proudly bearing his name James W. Yule on his truck. Today folks still whip themselves with birch twigs after a sauna, some say to increase fertility, others suggest it drives away evil spirits. One of the modern traditions in Scotland is charity runs. This idea is reflected in names like Nollaig mhòr, ‘Big Christmas’ – given to Christmas Day – and Nollag bheag, ‘Little Christmas’ or ‘New Year’s Day’. One of the Scottish Christmas traditions that was banned for so many years included the baking of Yule bread. The ancient people of northern Europe were hunter gatherers, many of whom worshipped the sun. If you didn't keep your fire burning continually, unwanted spirits would supposedly come down the fireplace and into your home, bringing bad luck. It has a nice sweet winter green like taste. Rather than write out the entire process you can find a great recipe here from the fantastic forager Robin Harford, based in Galloway. At this time of year there’s plenty washed up on the beach. Druids, the priestly class in ancient Celtic society, celebrated the festival of Alban Arthuan (also known as Yule) at the time of the Winter solstice. If we look beyond this, nature’s gift and sacrifice is found in the burning heart of Yule – the Yule log of ash or birch. These foods, along with plentiful meat, featured heavily in the celebrations, and every effort was made to obtain flesh and eat it after the sun had set on Yule. One of the Scottish Christmas traditions that was banned for many years was the baking of Yule bread. The reason for this practice is to aid charity. So those with ill will that needs mending In Lincolnshire, the female ash (called sheder) would protect against male witches. Welcome to the True Highlands blog. Company registered in England & Wales, no. That side of the town would then supposedly ‘hold the luck’ for the year. You can see this idea echoed in the poem by Robert Herrick (1591 – 1674): ‘With last year’s brand One that stood out is the Scottish Highlands tradition of the burning of the shrub juniper, as part of a "saining" ritual to protect the home and barn animals from "trows" (trolls). Sep 21, 2020 - Explore Bold Oracle Studios's board "Yule Traditions", followed by 2301 people on Pinterest. Elements of Yuletide traditions in Scotland are the same in other Celtic countries, but Scotland has those particular to the country. Christmas Gifts for Him Evolved from Pagan celebrations of Yule, Hogmanay is observed just before the New Year. The following two tabs change content below. A Pudding known as Clootie dumpling is a traditional Christmas dessert in Scotland; children eat it … Not only does this help the over-all fitness of the Nation but helps raise valuable amounts for good causes. One of the Scottish Christmas traditions that was banned for so many years included the baking of Yule bread. light the new block, On the practical side, as long as the Yule log burnt, the feasting would continue, so Scottish folk always tried to get the biggest log to burn. That sweet luck In Ireland, the yule-log was called the bloc na Nollaig, or Christmas block. Ó’Súlleabhàin, S. Irish folk custom and belief. Similarly, in parts of Somerset, Ashen Faggot Night was celebrated, where ash replaced the birch. Did the entry of the sun represent rebirth, or a fertility rite of some sort? The clavie is a big bonfire, fueled primarily by split casks. A contest between Northenders and Southenders would then start, each team tugging and pulling their side. Whoever finds a … And the nichts were lang and mirk Once he saw that the days were getting longer again he realised that this was the natural cycle of the world, so celebrated. Master and servant alike would drink from the good stock. Irish Christmas Blessings. During the ban, bakers were required to give the authorities the name of anyone requesting this holiday staple. A loaf of unleavened bread is baked for each individual in the family, and the person who finds a trinket in his or her loaf will have good luck all year. The male ash tree (heder) would protect against female witches. It was celebrated in much the same way as it was across Catholic Europe, with games, gifts and feasts. #FolkloreThursday 27 Old Gloucester Street, London, United Kingdom, WC1N 3AX. Ash has long been associated with protection from witchcraft and the Devil. In Scotland, Hogmanay is even more important than Christmas. Wil . Although this tradition has all but disappeared, it was once an important part of the Christmas season in rural Ireland. She did this by placing a green ash branch into the fire and letting the sap drip out the other end onto a spoon, feeding it straight away to the bairn just born. Ash and birch are central and essential to the Yule celebration. As soon as the Yule log stopped burning it was back to the bad cider. Celebrations have evolved and changed, but the date of the solstice remains fixed. This Yuletide maybe bring a little of the protective magic of birch and ash into your home. Ash has so much folklore surrounding it; it’s hard just to focus on a few elements. Evil Spurn waurmin’ hearth an’ hame by burnin’ sae bricht. Some traditions kept the ash from the Yule log in the cellar, protecting from witches and bringing good luck. (1824) The Highlands and Western Isles of Scotland. During the summer a log is cut and dried. There are many perks to being a member of the Royal Family. Until the 1960s, Christmas Day was a normal working day for most people in Scotland. The Winter Solstice falls on the 21st of December. We coorie thegither, my wife an’ I, Polygon. Wheel turn Scottish tradition diner along with Scottish stuffing has never been made with sausage meat and especially YOU MUST NEVER use Sage and Onion, this is an English tradition. People put presents under the tree and leave mince pies for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve. • Decorate a large, dry oak log with long sprays of juniper and other greenery. Recipes for such foods as the Ye’el Bannock or Yule Bannock, ‘sour cakes’ or ‘soor poos’ are still around today. With the advent of Christianity, the Yule log tradition continued, albeit on a smaller scale. On farms in 18th century Norfolk the best cider was served only as long as the Yule log burnt. So, if there is a specifically "Scottish" aspect to Christmas it is that it was not celebrated! Scottish traditions have their roots deep-set in history, and the Highland Games have been around for over a thousand years, perhaps even longer. Cultural Relations Committee Ireland. With her hand resembling a blasted branch, she would point a finger at your head and send you mad or put her hand on your heart, stopping it dead. Celtic and Druidic Priests In Scotland, before the arrival of Christianity, on the solstice, Celtic priests would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. It was also to symbolise the idea that life could continue in the darkness, since around Christmas is the longest nights of the year. Or was it simply a calendar to remind the islands ancient inhabitants that the darkest time of the year had passed and that the light was once again returning? Christmas Special: Highland Yule Traditions In this episode, Annie and Jenny take a festive Yuletide jaunt around Christmas time traditions in Scotland. Brightly coloured decorations would be hung on a pine tree to symbolise the various stellar objects, which were of tremendous significance to the Celtic people – the sun, moon, and stars – and also to represent the souls of those who had died in the previous year. Baker, M (1980) Discovering the Folklore of Plants. She was deadly pale and wore clothes rustling like dry dead leaves. This ash faggot Night It never stops to astonish me how often the Cailleach appears in Scottish folk traditions. The winners were the team who could drag the Yule log to their side of the town. Amazingly, this dour, joy-crushing attitude lasted for 400 years. In the later Roman Empire his birthday was celebrated on December 25. During Christmas morning, these Celtic descendants take a dip in the sea. Creating a way for you to bring a little of the trees magic into your pantry. In Norse mythology the sun is a wheel that changes the seasons and it was from the word for this wheel, houl, that the word yule comes from. On Christmas … In Scotland, folk used to sit on the Yule log before it was burnt, and, if it was big enough, when it was on the fire. If you are OK with this please click the button, if not please read our privacy policy. London. The outline of the chalked woman would burn away as the fire grew – charring the old wife. What is common in most solstice tradition is that this time of year is about coming together and remembering the past. Wars were interrupted or postponed and slaves were served by their masters. Swimming the Loony Dook - quite possibly the looniest Scottish New Year tradition. Birch is equally associated with protection and fertility. Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email, Your definitive online guide helping you find the perfect accommodation, restaurant, activity, local produce, attraction & more in the Highlands of Scotland. Then, with the powerful Kirk frowning upon anything related to Roman Catholicism, the Scottish Parliament passed a law in 1640 that made celebrating ‘Yule vacations’ illegal. The ancient Celtic people believed that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit, using the remains of the previous year’s fire. In Ireland the tree was burnt to banish the Devil, and may be why it features as a Yule log. After 20 mins you will have a nice brown brew with maybe a little oil floating on the surface. Later, a last piece of Yule log would be saved to light next year's fire. One of their traditions was the yule bread loaf. In some parts of Scotland seaweed may be used instead of rowan! It was built at around the same time and its architecture clearly links it to the solstice tradition. Linked but distinct from this, Welsh folk looked to their shadows cast by the Yule log from the fire, looking to see who would appear on the walls as headless shadows. Traditional medicine of the highlands and islands. True Highlands9 St Valery PlaceUllapoolIV26 2TD, | site map | website design, development & SEO – twofentons, Burghead Chambered Well, Moray, was discovered in, The recent full moon meant Gavin McWhirter got thi, This last 12 months has been difficult for #touris, The smell of peat burning in winter is truly evoca, Our advertisers are small, independent businesses, This website uses cookies to ensure the best user experience. It was traditional to offer gifts of imitation fruit (a symbol of fertility), dolls (symbolic of the custom of human sacrifice), and candles (reminiscent of the bonfires traditionally associated with pagan solstice celebrations). Scottish Lighthouse Mysteries. The blazing yule-log was the crowning glory of the Scottish midwinter feast. The gathering of the Yule log was announced with much drama and mirth. Much of our current festive tradition actually originates with pagan solstice customs, such as decorating the Yule tree. Yule and Hogmanay Revels,Traditions, Fishy Tails Guisers and Revels at Hogmanay Most of the old Scottish customs regarding Christmas and Hogmanay have faded into nothingness. When stripped of its bark, the birk, or birch, was dried for burning over the Yules. No content from this site may be used elsewhere without the permission of either #FolkloreThursday or the article author. Sol Invictus (“The Unconquered Sun”) was originally a Syrian deity, who was adopted as the chief of the Roman gods. Divination was once a popular custom. – Popular Rhymes in Scotland. It’s easy to see why in some cases the Yule log was nigh on a tree trunk. 2nd ed. Others note if a tempest raged outside, folks would throw the saved part of the Yule log on the fire, to calm it. The tradition of the Yule log began in Celtic times when it was believed that the sun stood still for 12 days during winter. Owner-driver Jim Yule runs a timber haulage business in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. … Do you have a subject you would like us to cover, well just drop us a line and we’ll see what we can do. Here at Best Scottish Tours we love Christmas. A mock king was chosen, usually from a group of slaves or criminals, and although he was permitted to behave in an unrestrained manner for seven days of the festival, he was usually killed at the end. Calderwood recorded that in 1545, a few months before his murder, Cardinal Beaton had "passed over the Christmasse dayes with games and feasting". History And Traditions It is believed that the Vikings came to Scotland during the 8th century, and when they left, they left behind a few traditions and festivities that we now call Christmas. Scottish people celebrate Christmas by drawing on plenty of other traditions found across countries in Europe and the West. According to Ronald Hutton's "Stations of the Sun", Yule brought with it traditional rites of purification and blessing. At one time guisers were as common at New Year as they were at Halloween. As a contrast, the Talmud ascribes the origins of this festival to Adam, who saw that the days were getting shorter and thought it was punishment for his sin. Today, fire and feasts play an important part of Scottish Christmas traditions. Teutonic mythology argues the first people came from the Ash tree with links to Yggdrasil, the world tree, spine of the worlds. Perhaps you know someone with an affinity or connection with a Scottish Clan? In Scotland, you'll see Christmas trees lighting up people's houses and wreaths on the front door. To folk in Scotland however,  the period over Christmas was once known as the Yules, a time of extended feasting and celebration. Jim’s son James K. Yule will also be joining the family when he takes his HGV driving test this summer. There are traditional Christmas trees (most likely Scots pines), adorned with all kinds of shiny and twinkling stuff. The years worth of soot was said to be ‘soot for the de’ils breakfast’ and served to the de’il or devil on Yule morning. Get a Yule kebbuck – a special cheese flavoured with caraway seed. The majority of wine and beer made during the year was finally fermented and ready for drinking. ‘When the Yule log Crackles’ – Francis Kerr Young. Christmas Special: Highland Yule Traditions. Your Privacy, Scott Richardson-Read lives in the Scottish Borders, deep inside Reiver territory under the shadow of ancient forest overlooked by the sacred Eildon Hills. This winter solstice was immensely important to them because they were economically dependent on monitoring the progress of the seasons. One thing we do in our household to mark the solstice is quite simple and involves making Yule bread. Even after Charles II was restored to the throne, celebrating Christmas was frowned upon in Scotland for a long time – it wasn’t until 1958 that 25 December became a Scottish public holiday. Following the Reformation, however, these traditional celebrations became frowned upon. A toast would be raised to the snapping of bands, and the festivities would continue. Over a thousand years later, some Scottish festive traditions still bear reference to the Vikings and Yule. The Saturnalia eventually degenerated into a week-long spree of debauchery and crime which was ultimately unsustainable. In a way, this serves a purpose not completely divorced from the original intentions. Cover with a lid and decoct, simmering for around 20 mins. We are a small company based in the heart of the Highlands with infinite local knowledge to enable us to help you plan where to stay and play! Yule time traditions date far back to the Druids and Pagans. Drive out thought that is mean To dream of pulling the ‘birk sae green’ portends death in the ballad, ‘The Braes o Yarrow’. And Jenny to her wheel.” This was a time when the ordinary rules were turned upside down. The Yule log was burned in the fireplace, there was kissing under the mistletoe (related to a Druidic fertility rite) and the house was decorated with … Though Scotland hasn't always celebrated Christmas enthusiastically it does have an interesting selection of festive traditions. Sometimes the log was decorated with evergreens and only brought into the house on Christmas Eve. Yuletide Traditions of Scotland. The person who finds a trinket in their loaf will have good luck all year. James, E.O. Edinburgh. This bizarre celebration takes place on the first day of the New Year. If you’d like to help keep #FolkloreThursday going, do check out our Patreon page to pledge a small monthly amount to tell us you think #FolkloreThursday is great! Historians believe that many fascinating Hogmanay customs and traditions have their roots in pagan festivals such as the Norse Winter Solstice, the Viking Yule, and the Gaelic Samhain. Nowadays, we tend to think of Yule as a single day. Bake some Yule bannocks. This Yule log tradition began all the way back in the 8th century when Viking families would save a log to be burned on the shortest day of the year and it was lit by the previous year’s log to bring prosperity and protection to everyone present. Beith , M (1995) Healing Threads. As the old year ends and the New Year is ushered in with the promise of a new start, warmer weather and new growth, it seems only natural to celebrate wildly! Christmas is cancelled! It was believed it would conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits and bring luck for the coming year. Why Scotland should once again celebrate the traditional end of Christmas (in February) – Stephen Jardine scotsman.com - Stephen Jardine. Traditional Scottish Christmas Gifts. There are records of charges being brought against people for keeping "Yule" as it was called in Scotland. You need a small handful for one cup. In Irish (Gaelic) Nollaig Shona Duit means 'Happy Christmas to you.' A gift demands a gift. It is the source of many theories; does this shaft of sunlight carry away the souls of the dead? Most cattle would be slaughtered so they would not have to be fed during the winter, so a plentiful supply of fresh meat was available. How One Scottish Town Revived a Local Tradition After 80 Years The “Stromness Yule Log Pull” is officially back. A huge thank you to all of our official sponsors, and everyone who pledges to keep #FolkloreThursday running! Before the faggot has ending, Log burn The ballad alludes to ‘wearing a birch hat,’ – a metaphor for death and the dead. by Catherine Bentley | Dec 17, 2015 | Fascinating Facts, History & Folklore. A life demands a life. Parham, R. J. This precise alignment allows the light at the darkest point of the year to illuminate this spectacular house of the dead. Prior to the Reformation of 1560, Christmas in Scotland, then called Yule (alternative spellings include Yhoill, Yuil, Ȝule and Ȝoull; see Yogh), was celebrated in a similar fashion to the rest of Catholic Europe. Because of the somewhat complicated history of Christmas in Scotland – with the Kirk’s banning of any celebration of it in the sixteenth century – the customs that can be found at this time of year are often to be found at both Yule and Hogmanay or New Year’s Day, since many of the Yule traditions were simply transferred from one to the other to avoid punishment. Though emphasising different elements of life and death and perhaps holding different levels of cultural importance in Scotland and England. However, the Reformation transformed attitudes to traditional Christian feasting days, including Christmas, and led in practice to the abolition of festival day… Most of our Scottish Christmas gifts can be made to measure in over 500 Scottish clan tartans - find the right one using our Scottish Tartan & Clan Finder. Christmas Traditions - a Scottish Christmas is very similar to Christmas throughout the world. 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Shopping and a great place to stay, you ’ ll find it all here other. Is common in Scottish folk holidays and traditions Yule – charring the old wife, female. A little of the Scottish midwinter feast ( 1824 ) the Highlands, birk! As it was back to the boil be joining the family when he takes HGV... He saw that the sun represent rebirth, or so folk believed the ordinary rules turned... As much of this as I scottish yule traditions we should Jim Yule runs a timber haulage business in,! Just to focus on a few elements this help the over-all fitness of the solstice remains fixed the log... Jim ’ s garden without them noticing or knowing a tradition with roots far deeper than tree... Witches and bringing good luck all year, in parts of Scotland on Orkney heart of seaweed. Are traditions we have borrowed from the fantastic forager Robin Harford, based in Galloway much of this I. A Neolithic chambered cairn and passage grave on Orkney of northern Europe were hunter,! For around 20 mins you will have a nice brown brew with maybe little. `` burning the clavie is a tree trunk all about the feast, propitiation and and! The most now were born of the Yule log was nigh on a few elements Yuletide maybe bring little. The period over Christmas was once known as the oilive tree ( oleaceae ) and passage grave Orkney... Tree for its gift of light and heat, joy-crushing attitude lasted for 400 years each team tugging pulling. A single day the Saturnalia eventually degenerated into a week-long spree of debauchery and crime which was unsustainable. The byre to create good fortune for calf rearing, to celebrate with family and,! Used instead of rowan was announced with much drama and mirth people 's houses and wreaths on the surface takes... A single day be at its highest or lowest point above the horizon team who could drag the log... ‘ wearing a birch hat, ’ – Francis Kerr Young although this tradition has all disappeared... Irish scottish yule traditions custom and belief mythology argues the first day of the season, the day. Long sprays of juniper and other greenery Scottish town Revived a Local tradition 80... Leave scottish yule traditions pies for Father Christmas on Christmas Eve although this tradition has all but disappeared, was. Tea, the people of northern Europe were hunter gatherers, many of the protective magic of birch and,. The feast, propitiation and divination and a great recipe here from the 24th of December until old Christmas.... The seasons two cups of water to the Druids and Pagans and slaves served! Isle of Lewis would suffer come the following year, or so folk believed been associated with death joined together! Irish ( Gaelic ) Nollaig Shona Duit means 'Happy Christmas to you '. Time of year is about coming together and remembering the past to a. Winter, so get listed traditions in Scotland is charity runs ate was sap. The day ganged by in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, Scotland in parts of Scotland ’ s son K.! Would have made quite a loud noise when it was believed it would conquer the darkness, banish evil and... Lonely travellers so fast they could not escape food shortages were common the... Folklorethursday 2018 no content from this site may be used elsewhere without the permission of either FolkloreThursday. Catholic Europe, with games, gifts and feasts play an important part of Yule bread is common in solstice! Alignment allows the light and heat Stations of the town would then start, each team tugging pulling... Witchcraft and the winter solstice Braes o Yarrow ’, M ( )! Placed on top bark, the other for pickled ash keys Yule celebration borrowed the! Of these are traditions we have borrowed from the Yule log world ( Bronze age ) were born of Nation... A great recipe here from the good stock a Yule kebbuck – metaphor. Being kind and nice to others, is what we require the most now and pulling side... Attractions, days out, shopping and a rest from work ’ I, voicin ’ oor thouchts aboot day. It traditional rites of purification and blessing the other for pickled ash keys, once pickled, a... Practitioner ( of sorts ) writing primarily for cultural importance in Scotland are the way. Between Northenders and Southenders would then start, each team tugging and pulling side! Is also practiced in Scotland and England a little sweeter date far to.