Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Winter Solstice, or Yule, is held on or around December 22nd. It marks the shortest day of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere) and is an important holiday to those who follow the old ways.
Winter Solstice Symbols
The Yule Log, candles, mistletoe and other icons of the Christmas season are borrowed from the Solstice celebration. While mostly viewed as decorative in nature today, these items had deep symbolic significance to the elder faith.
Friday, December 16, 2005
Monday, December 12, 2005
Monday, December 05, 2005
Saint Nicholas Day is a festivity for children in much of Europe related to surviving legends of the saint, and particularly his reputation as a bringer of gifts. The American and British Santa Claus derives from this festivity, the name 'Santa Claus' being a degeneration of the Dutch word Sinterklaas.
In mid-November, Sinterklaas (St. Nicholas) and his helper Zwarte Piet (Black Peter) arrive in the Netherlands. In the following weeks before St. Nicholas Day, December 6, Sinterklaas goes about the country to determine if the children have been well-behaved. He and his Zwarte Piet helpers visit children in schools, hospitals, department stores, and even at home.