Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Yule Log

Bringing Home the Yule Log
From The Archivist's Corner:
The last piece I have for you brings us back to Olde Yorkshire. This is an excerpt from an article called “Folklore from Yorkshire” by J. B. Partridge.  It was published in the journal Folklore in 1914, and it discusses some of the old traditions that still survived at the time it was written.

Christmas Observances in Yorkshire -

Furmety is still eaten on Christmas Eve in Swaledale. The corn with which it is made is a present from the grocer.

Sword dancers still go round on Christmas Eve, dancing and singing a song about "Poor old horse."

The Yule log is generally given. It is brought into the house after dusk on Christmas Eve, and is at once put on the hearth. It is unlucky to have to light it again after it has once been started, and it ought not to go out until it has burned away. To sit round the Yule log and tell ghost stories is a great thing to do on this night, also card-playing.

Two large coloured candles are a Christmas present from the grocer. Just before supper on Christmas Eve (when furmety is eaten), while the Yule log is burning, all other lights are put out,and the candles are lighted from the Yule log by the youngest person present. While they are being lighted, all are silent and wish. The wish must not be told, but you see if you get it during the year. As soon as the candles are on the table, silence may be broken. They must be allowed to burn themselves out, and no other lights may be lighted that night. (Read more.)

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