What is Yule: The Winter Solstice
Yule marks the Winter Solstice, and the turning of the Wheel of the Year into a new revolution. It is the longest night of the year, and begins the processional of longer and longer days until the Summer Solstice. Yule doesn't last just one night, though, it lasts 12 days, during which we celebrate the triumphant return of the Sun King.
During the harvest Sabbats; Lughnasadh, Mabon & Samhain, we honor the death of the old and our ancestors. Now that we have fully released, we are ready to welcome Light once more into the emptiness. A new day shall dawn, the sun shall rise and shine again; this brings the seed of new life, a first breath of air.
Traditionally, a Yule tree is brought into the home, and placed, stump first, into the hearth. This single tree will feed the flames of the the Yule Festival through the 12 Days. This celebrates the enduring battle of Light over Darkness. Although darkness is not bad, we do not live, prosper or flourish in darkness; we need Light to live and grow; and we need darkness to know what is Light.
Hanukkah & Kwanza both celebrate the miraculous endurance of Light, and Christians celebrate the Birth of Jesus (Sun/Son) who also is the embodiment of Light triumphing over Dark.
How does the Light triumph over Dark? It does it because we do. We choose to face adversity with a sense of joy, merriment, perhaps even a child like wonder. This us why archetypes such as Santa Claus hold such significance, for embodying that joy & goodwill, just like Jesus! Even the Grinch teaches us that the true meaning of Christmas is found in the hearts of (wo)men!
So, rekindle the joy within your heart, remember that peace starts with you, and that Goodness can be found in the hearts of all.