News

Yule log signifies custom of days gone by

Yule log signifies custom of days gone by

YULE LOG: For centuries, the yule log was a tradition in many European homes. Photo: clipart.com

For many lovers of holiday sweets, the Yule log is known as a tasty treat. But for others, it’s a reminder of an old custom gone by.

As far back as the 12th century, many Europeans would mark the holidays with the lighting of the Yule log.

They’d chop down an enormous log and, according to custom, bring the wood into the house amid great ceremony on Christmas Eve.

The master of the house would often sprinkle the log with oil, salt and wine while saying suitable prayers.

In some families, the mother would then light the wood, while children had the privilege in other homes.

It was said the cinders of the log would ward off the evil powers of the devil.

The tradition persisted in Europe, and even in Canada, until the last quarter of the 19th century.

But experts say its disappearance coincides with the advent of the cast-iron stove, which largely replaced the great wood-burning hearths.

Today, the Yule log has become a traditional pastry, generally a cake roll, smothered in coffee or chocolate-flavored icing, and decorated with sugared holly leaves and roses.

Recent Headlines

in Local

$1,000 reward for info on Cortland cat shootings

Fresh
Local_News41-620x400

The shootings occurred earlier this month in the City of Cortland and the town of Cincinattus.

in Local

Dog control officer charged with animal cruelty

dog

Authorities say the dog control officer for a central New York town has been charged with animal cruelty after more than 200 dogs and cats were found living in filthy conditions on her property.

in Sports, Viral Videos

Middle school team runs ‘Ugly Kardashian’ trick play

17-overlay2

Lewis and Clark Middle School's football team gets tricky with a special play called the "Ugly Kardashian."

in Local

NY’s medical marijuana request ‘unprecedented’

Local_News41-620x400

New York has requested federal permission to import out-of-state marijuana so children and young adults with epilepsy can get medication soon instead of waiting for the state to develop its own program.

in Local

TCAT’s Green Street waiting station closed temporarily

photo by Peter Blanchard

As of Tuesday, the TCAT passenger waiting area at the Green Street Station in the City of Ithaca is closed.