The winter solstice festival of Yuletide marks the longest night of the year, December 21st. This is when the earth stops leaning away from the sun in the northern hemisphere. The earth’s northern hemisphere will slow it’s tilting away from the sun and start tilting back towards the sun. For three days the sun will appear to rise in the same location.The ancients said the sun died for three days and was reborn at 12:01am on the morning of December 25th. On December 25th the sun would appear to rise a little further north than the three previous days. This is where the Christians got Jesus being dead for three days. Horus, Attis and Mithras are just a few others that died for three days and resurrected. They were also born on December 25th. On December 25th I will show why all these solar gods are born to a virgin(see Birth of a God).
The Yuletide marked when people looked forward to the days becoming longer and the Holly King was said to give way to the Oak king for the next 6 months. Fires were lit to symbolize the returning heat of the sun. A Yule-log, usually oak or ash, was burned in the sacred fire. Fruit and grain puddings were made to celebrate the fertile richness of the earth. They had a big feast and sang songs celebrating Yule or mid winter. Symbols were put out such as ivy, holly, pinecones and mistletoe because the goddess was said to be giving birth to the sun, which happens at 12:01 am on Dec 25th. The Holly king made his final appearance of the year as old Father Winter and distributed gifts. While the new seasons king, the Oak King, is reborn. The Yuletide celebration lasted 12 days. The ashes from the fires were kept and spread out in the fields all twelve days.
It was because of the ‘newborn king’ and ‘newborn god’ aspect of Yuletide that the Roman Church elected December 25th as the official birthday for Jesus. All sun cults celebrated the birth of their god on December 25th. That is what christianity is, a sun or solar cult(see Lucifer). In the Christian tradition they added the nativity of Jesus and carols, but in all other aspects the basic feast and celebration of the Yuletide is still celebrated.
Happy Solstice and Yuletide!