Why is there a big log in the
"Yuletide" for "Christmastime" is a term derived from the yule log,
which in olden days was a huge log used as the foundation of the holiday fires.
Bringing the yule log in was, as recently as the 19th century, as much a part of
the pre-Christmas festivities as putting up an evergreen tree today. "Yule" can
be traced back to the Middle English "Yollen" (cry aloud) and is thought to date
from early Anglo-Saxon revels in celebration of the discovery (after the winter
solstice) that nights were becoming shorter.
The "yule log" is often placed in or near the
Up until the 19th century, the custom of burning the Yule log flourished in
England, France, Germany and among the South Slavs. Out of oak, families carved
a heavy, wood block. They placed it into the floor of their hearth. It glowed
throughout the year under the flames of household fires. Gradually it became
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