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Thread: Midwinter Traditions Legends Lore, Due February 18, 2022

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    Midwinter Traditions Legends Lore, Due February 18, 2022

    ATC Swap Due Date: Due February 18, 2022
    Signup/Withdraw Date: Due February 18, 2022
    Number of ATCs: 3 for 3 or 6 for 6
    Number of Participants: Unlimited
    Media: Any and all mediums and techniques are welcome

    Midwinter Traditions Legends Lore, Due February 18, 2022


    In the Northern Hemisphere, days are getting shorter and shorter, and nights are getting longer and longer, with darkness setting in around 4PM, a time that just a few short months ago was late afternoon.

    History tells us that early people panicked when this happened, thinking the sun was leaving, taking heat, and plant growth, and the good life along with it.
    Many traditions and rituals were historically created to bring back the sun, the warmth, and the longer days.

    This Swap is about Midwinter/Mid Summer Celebrations (Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere) / (Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere).

    This Swap is not about Christmas. There are numerous Christmas, Vintage Christmas, Christmas Card, Santa Swaps and/or Children’s Christmas Swaps you can participate in if that is where your interests lie. Your cards must have a Traditional, Legendary, Historical, or Pagan flair / theme to them, or show celebration of the Mid Winter/Mid Summer Celebrations around the world. (Did you know Australia, celebrating the SUMMER Solstice this time of year, still has a Santa and a Sleigh, although this sleigh is NOT pulled by reindeer!)

    The Winter Solstice is a Mid-winter festival historically celebrated around December 21st. The Germanic peoples celebrated the Winter Solstice, which they call "Yule" from late December to early January, culminating their festivities with 12th Night, January 6th. Traditions include decorating a fir or spruce tree with live candles, burning a Yule log, hanging mistletoe and holly branches and other greenery, giving gifts, singing, and much celebration and merriment. And lots and lots of food.


    Midwinter Traditions, Legends, Lore
    St. Lucia Day / Candles and Celebrations (Sweden)
    Longest Night / Cutting the Yule Log / Fires and Feasting
    Baking / Bouche de Noel (an EDIBLE Yule Log) (France)
    Holly King / Oak King
    Cookies, Candy Canes, and Caroling
    Beef, Breads and Beer
    Warming Soups, Stews, and Songs
    The Holiday Pickle (Germany)
    Figgy Pudding (Medieval England)
    Hogmanay (Scotland)
    12th Night (UK)
    Saunas and Story Telling
    Evergreens and Everything Else to Welcome Imbolc

    Traditions and Symbolism:
    Bring in the Yule Tree / Burn the Yule Log
    Lighting the Fir Tree / Greenery Decorations
    Burn Red and Green Candles - Colors and Symbols of the Winter Solstice
    Put out Wheat Sheaves to attract and Feed the Birds
    Weave Straw Stalk to create Julbocks
    Celebrate the Stag
    Feed the Birds
    Year End Cleaning and Sage House Smudging




    * This is a 3 for 3 or 6 for 6 card trade. Make 3 or 6 cards and receive the same number back.

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    * Please sign up by posting to this thread. I will acknowledge you and add your user name to the participant list below.
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    * International participants, if you have U.S. funds, or U.S. postage, it is greatly appreciated. However, since many of you do not have access to U.S. stamps, I will cover your postage. Please include a self addressed envelope 4 by 9 1/2 inches (10 x 28 cm), or if you do not have the correct size envelope, please include a large mailing label with your address and I will provide the envelope.

    * I apologize for being so demanding about the envelope size, but the postal rates in the US charge extra for thickness. When cards are stacked, or overlapped, in (a smaller) envelope, it almost always costs more to mail. If you send me a small envy, the cards get stacked. When I use the 4 inch by 9 1/2 inch business size envelopes, I can spread the cards over the area, making a THIN package, and only pay for basic (minimum) postage.

    * Cards are due IN MY HANDS by February 18, 2022. Please allow sufficient lead time for cards to get to me, particularly if you are an International participant. Returns will be mailed promptly. Please leave iTrader for your host ONLY (me) when you receive your returns, and please take the time to leave Reputation/You Rock points for your fellow players from whom you receive cards.

    * A hostie card in this theme is appreciated but not at all expected!

    * Thank you for considering this swap! If you have my address from previous swaps, it hasn't changed. If you are new, or have not been in one of my swaps for a while, please PM me for my address when you sign up or when you are ready to mail.

    * Above all ~Have fun!!!


    Here are some links to help you get started:


    Yule Logs
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule_log

    Yule Tree
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christmas_tree

    The Yuletide Goat
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yule_goat

    A Midwinter Game
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Snap-dragon_(game)
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-03-2021 at 08:28 AM.

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    Apparently I have used all my allotted space in the previous post, so here are the current participants:

    Midwinter: Traditions / Legends / Lore
    Due February 18, 2022

    *1. Vicki Z -- Cards Received 1/13
    *2. Boots -- Cards Received 1/13
    *3. Sandy -- Cards Received 1/23
    *4. somnia -- Cards Received 2/14 * CANADA
    */. luckycat479 -- WITHDREW
    *5. middleearthtraveller -- Cards Received 1/11
    *6. jo.on.the.go -- Cards Received 1/11


    * INTERNATIONAL
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 03-07-2022 at 07:07 PM. Reason: Add/Update Participants

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    Yes please! Let's celebrate the Holly King!

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    Please sign me up! I'd like to research and draw Kachina dolls.
    Want to create and trade vintage, Victorian, steampunk, Alice in Wonderland, postage stamp ATCs and more? Join the Victoria Day ATART athon May 20-24. Open to everyone!
    My Available to Trade ATCs
    I'm ksomnia on Instagram

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    Welcome somnia and luckycat479.
    I signed you up.

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    How much do you know about Midwinter and midwinter festivities around the world?

    I have a short Quiz for you.
    If you already know the answers, Fantastic!
    If you have to look up the answers, it is worthwhile research!
    As you play, have fun!

    Please do NOT list your answers in the thread.
    Allow others the chance to discover their own information.

    You can PM me your responses if you want feed-back.

    Who was the first person to put lights on a fir tree?
    (Do not focus on electric light bulbs.....the answer to this question about "lights" predates electricity).

    In todays' tree market, which state grows the most holiday fir trees?
    Need help? Multiple Choice:
    Oregon, Michigan, Pennsylvania?

    Which ONE of these historical facts is NOT true?
    Multiple Choice:
    1) Trees were hung upside down in the 1400's
    2) Real candles were placed on fir trees.....and were later lit up.
    3) Fir trees were cut down and brought inside to be decorated during early October.

    Prior to the popularity of fir trees, branches were cut from dormat trees, brought inside, and were placed in pots of earth in the hope of flowering for the holidays.
    What was the most common tree branches were cut from?
    Multiple Choice:
    1) Oak
    2) Hawthorn
    3) Cherry Trees
    4) Apple Trees

    In 1979 the National Holiday Tree in Washington DC was NOT lit up for the holidays.
    Why?
    Hint....Only the star at the top of the tree was illuminated.

    Statistically, in the Unites States, from last year's poll, what is the day/date most people put up their tree?
    Multiple Choice:
    1) November 29
    2) December 05
    3) December 11
    4) December 24

    What is "Wassailing."
    Hint: People gather to drink.
    "Who/What" do they drink to?

    When, on the eve of December 24th, one leaves out milk and cookies for Santa, what treat should also be left out for Santa's reindeer?

    Although Santa's Mailbox seems to magically appear at every store and mall this time of year, should you have to actually mail your letter to Santa, what is his zip code?
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-11-2021 at 12:02 PM.

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    Additional Quiz Questions:
    If you already know the answers, Fantastic!
    If you have to look up the answers, it is worthwhile research!
    As you play, have fun!

    Please do NOT list your answers in the thread.
    Allow others the chance to discover their own information.
    You can PM me your responses if you want feed-back.


    Midwinter in other countries:

    Australia, located in the Southern Hemisphere, is celebrating the SUMMER Solstice this time of year.
    But even in summer, Australia has its Santa with his Sleigh, but this sleigh is NOT pulled by reindeer!
    What critters guide Santa's sleigh through the air to deliver presents "down under"?

    In Italy, it is NOT Santa who brings gifts (and or pieces of coal), it is a special woman.
    What is her name, and what is her means of transport?

    What is the New Zealand Yule tree called?
    HINTS:
    It is an evergreen tree in the Myrtle Family.
    It produces a brilliant display of red flowers, and when in bloom looks like a lovingly decorated Holiday Tree.
    It has symbolic meaning in Miori Mythology.

    What country has a legend about a giant cat who shows up in Midwinter?
    What country hangs up a pickle (real or glass tree ornament) for good luck in the new year?
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-22-2021 at 07:17 AM.

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    I think I'd like to play!

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    SLEIGH BELLS

    Medford Sleigh Races.

    Although “Jingle Bells” is now a Yuletide staple, there is no mention of Christmas or any other holiday in the song. Some historical accounts report that the tune was first performed for a Thanksgiving service at church, but the lyrics might have been too risqué for an ecclesiastical audience. The less-known verses of the song describe picking up girls, drag-racing on snow, and a high-speed crash.
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-11-2021 at 07:56 AM.

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    Did you know that "Jingle Bells" was the first song ever broadcast from space?

    And that is, to me, a secondary surprise.........
    The real story is that nine days before Christmas, in 1965, the two astronauts aboard Gemini 6 had just completed a rendezvous with Gemini 7, when the crew suddenly gave a troubling report to Mission Control: “We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, up in a polar orbit. He’s in a very low trajectory traveling from north to south and has a very high climbing ratio. It looks like it might even be a very low descent. It looks like he might be going to reenter soon and may be on a collision course with us..... Stand by one …

    The tense report of the unidentified flying object was suddenly broken by the sound of “Jingle Bells” with “Wally” Schirra playing a tiny harmonica accompanied by Tom Stafford shaking a handful of small sleigh bells they had brought along for the space voyage.

    The astronauts thought their "joke" was hysterical. Ground Control took longer to find the humor!!!!!

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    MIDWINTER BELLS
    Bells have been important since ancient times.
    In some Asian cultures bells are hung in doorways, or on both the door itself, to provide protection against evil
    Bells were rung to keep away evil spirits that might try to enter homes when family and friends come through the door. (Family could enter, evil could not)

    In some cultures, guns, gunpowder, firecrackers and noisemakers replaced bells.
    Tyroleans fired traditional double barrel guns to chase away evil spirits.

    Evil is associated with night/darkness/the black of night, so bells were often rung during Midwinter or the morning after the Winter Solstice to drive away demons that surfaced during this darkest time of the year.
    Bells were rung in the morning after the Solstice, as everyone began to wake, to chase away the dark days and herald in the warmer, brighter days that followed the winter solstice.
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 02-21-2022 at 02:56 AM.

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    What an AWESOME Swap Theme!
    Please sign me up
    .....
    .....
    .....

    MINCE PIE
    Mince Pies (also known as Mutton Pies, and Shredded or Shird Pies were originally made with finely
    minced suet; plus an assortment of finely minced meats; which could include mutton, beef,
    wild rabbit, pork, wild duck and other game meats. Then special dried fruits and spices, cloves,
    and nutmeg were expertly added for flavor.

    In Tudor times (between 1485 and 1558, the period of the House of Tudor), mince pies were made
    from exactly 13 ingredients to represent Jesus and his 12 apostles. Also the pies were mostly
    made with mutton to represent the shepherds. And the pies were baked in what we call a bread
    loaf tin, some say the rectangle shape represented the shape of the baby Jesus' manger.

    In Victorian times (1837-1901) meat was no longer used, and the large oblong shaped pan was
    changed to a smaller round pie dish.

    Nowadays "minced" pies include finely chopped fresh apples, dried fruit, raisins, and spices.
    And these pies are considered a traditional holiday staple.
    Last edited by Boots; 02-19-2022 at 01:39 PM.

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    Welcome middleearthtraveller.
    I signed you up.
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-12-2021 at 06:00 PM.

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    THE YULE LOG

    The tradition of bringing in and burning the Yule Log is quite old.
    It is thought to have begun in the Scandinavian countries, where darkness comes early and stays the longest.
    A huge log, the Yule Log, was brought inside and placed in the hearth where it burned during the entire length of the longest night, and into the following day. Its burning is said to ensure prosperity and give protection from evil both on the longest night and during the following year.

    Keeping a Yule Log remnant (From the previous year's Yule Fire) protects the home from fire during the upcoming year, and must be used to start the following year's Yule fire.
    In some traditions, each family member writes down a wish, which is then placed on the burning Yule log, and is said to come true in the coming year.

    As homes modernized, and hearths became smaller in size and function, often the Yule Log was also reduced in size to become a table centerpiece. Often the (smaller) Yule Log was decorated in a festive manner (with greenery and candles) to provide a positive start to the Yule holiday and good luck in the upcoming year. In addition to wooden Yule Log decorations, Yule Log cakes gained popularity. The Bouche de Noel is very popular in France, and is delicious.


    Attachment 227469

    Decorating the Yule Log
    Adding Poinsettias, Greens (Coniferous Branches), and Candles to the Traditional Yule Log when it is brought inside.
    Often red, Green, White, God, Silver Candles are also added
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 02-21-2022 at 03:00 AM.

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    THE BOAR'S HEAD

    Wild Boar hunting was very popular in Tudor times. Henry VIII loved hunting wild boar, and with every successful hunt, loudly proclaimed his power and prowess as High King and Virile man.

    The Boar's Head held a place of honor at Yule, particularly during the Yule feasts.
    The Boar's Head was the piece de resistance on the Tudor Yule table.
    Its eyes were built up with red fruit, often tomatoes or beets, with bulging black centers to show his ferocity. Its massive tusks were wrapped in gold, to show the wild boar's power, as well as to emphasize the strength of the man who brought it down.

    Attachment 227568

    The Boar's death and grateful consumption, plus its historical connection with earlier mythology of the golden boar, “Gullenbursti”, is supposed to represent the return of light after the longest night, daybreak. And it was said to ensure good weather, strong crops, and a full harvest the following year.

    The Boar's Head was its own course.
    It was brought to the King's table on its own table, along with its personal escort, full procession, and in particular, its own song announcing its arrival.

    The Boar's Head in hand bring I
    Bedecked with garlands Bay and Rosemary
    I pray you all sing merrily
    As you feast so heartily

    The Boar's Head as I understand
    Is the rarest dish in all this land
    To cheer you all this Happy Day
    The Boar's Head with Mustard !

    Mustard always had to be served with Boar's Head, by royal decree.
    Even the leftover meat had to be eaten with mustard.


    Attachment 227473
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 02-21-2022 at 03:01 AM.

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    LUTEFISK
    A Christmas Tradition



    Attachment 227489
    .....Christmas Day features the big feast of the season, the main dish being lutefisk. Called "Lutefik" in Norwegian and "Lutfisk" in Swedish, this is the traditional holiday dish of the Nordic countries.
    .....If this is a new food to you, look up the preparation of Lutefisk and feel free to tell me what you think of this holiday tradition. (I promise I won't be offended......This is the traditional main course of my Father-in-law and his family so I think I have already heard all the jokes.)

    Minnesota is heavily Scandinavian, and as immigrants arrived, they brought with them the Holiday tradition of Lutefish for Christmas, served hot with butter and cream sauce.
    If this is a new food to you, look up the preparation of Lutefisk and feel free to tell me what you think of this Christmas tradition.
    Still served today, as a Church fellowship get-together and fundraiser, you can check the local paper for lists of churches honoring this family tradition of a Lutefisk dinner.
    There is a GREAT song, called "Lutefisk Lament, which was written by local Minnesota radio announcers, that really reveals the TRUE nature of Lutefisk:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob8mw6kjxX8
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 02-21-2022 at 03:03 AM.

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    Attachment 227575

    Reindeer
    Although commonly associated with Santa Claus in North America, many people believe that reindeer represent the stags that drew the chariot of the Norse gift-giving Goddess, Freya.
    Another theory is that reindeer are the "modern" version of the goats in Norse mythology, Thor’s two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr, who pulled his chariot across the sky and can bring Thor and his companions to any of the nine realms. Another notion is that the reindeer symbolize the abundance of the Celtic horned God, Cernunnos.


    Santa's Reindeer
    Reindeer arrived to pull Santa's sleigh in 1823 as a result of the popularity of the poem "The Night Before Christmas".
    Be certain to leave out carrots for Santa's reindeer along with the cookies and milk you leave out for Santa.

    Attachment 227558
    Card Closed

    Attachment 227557
    Card Open
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 02-21-2022 at 03:08 AM.

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    Time Honored Winter Traditions

    Holiday Pudding

    Attachment 227563
    The Holiday Pudding Tradition is celebrated on different days in different cultures.
    It has its origins in medieval England and is sometimes known as Plum Pudding or Plum Duff.
    This pudding has ben documented as being served in Tudor England in 1509 gracing the table of Henry VIII.
    It is again mentioned in Victorian England as a treat of the wealthy and lavishly decorated with holly.
    It is also recorded as being enjoyed on Winter Solstice, Christmas Eve, Hogmanay, New Year Day, and 12th Night.

    English Plum Pudding

    Attachment 227564
    For centuries in England families would gather in the kitchen on "Stir-up Sunday" following Thanksgiving. They had a big job to do, collecting symbols and charms, assembling the numerous spices and other required ingredients, plus making lists of wishes in advance of the Yule holiday.

    Then a pudding (Plum Pudding?, Figgy Pudding?, Almond Pudding?) is made, (with the help of the entire family taking turns stirring the mixture). Special symbols or charms (wrapped in parchment or foil) are added to the final stir. It is then cooked or steamed for hours, then put aside to age and wait its pride of place on the holiday table.

    At the Winter Solstice, or at Yule, (or other day) the pudding was soaked in brandy and set flaming after dinner. Whoever was lucky enough to find a "package" in their pudding portion was granted a special boon as follows for traditional meanings.......
    .....Coin = Prosperity / Increased Wealth
    .....Wishbone or Horseshoe = Good Luck
    .....Heart = Love / Marriage
    .....Grain Seed or Corn Kernel = Abundant Harvest in the coming year
    .....In some households a special antique coin (or other keepsake coin) was added to the pudding. Whosoever was so lucky to discover the coin in their portion of the pudding was assured all of the above / good luck, good fortune, abundant harvest, plus happiness in the upcoming year (assuming they returned the unique coin to the party host to be used again the following year.)
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 02-21-2022 at 03:09 AM.

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    The Native Americans in the United States have several cultural songs, dances, and meals with which to celebrate the holidays.
    One popular midwinter (Lacota) meal in Minnesota is bison roast with hominy and kale greens, or bison roast with fried corn meal and wilted spinach, both cooked with fresh Sage Leaves and Juniper Berries (which have a citrus marinade flavor)

    There is a new restaurant serving Minnesota Native American cuisine called the "Sioux Chef", a restaurant on sacred Indian ground, built on the banks of the Mississippi river.
    The bison and fried corn mush was tasty and filling. The chef promoted the meat as having a "chewy" texture, just like his mother made it.
    I've only eaten bison twice, but in comparison I found this bison meat a bit tough, and definitely chewy. However the flavors were well rounded and totally unique.

    iyokiphi Wospipi (Happy holidays)
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-24-2021 at 06:15 PM.

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    In 1509 Christmas Eve signaled the start of an important holiday tradition: decorating. Henry VIII loved decorations.
    In 1841 the German Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, decorated a large Christmas tree at Windsor Castle, reminiscent of his childhood celebrations in Germany. In Victorian times trees were put up early and were left up late.

    People today have their own personal or family traditions.
    Some decorate the day after Thanksgiving
    Some Decorate on the Winter Solstice
    Some decorate Christmas Eve
    Some leave their decorations up year round

    What do you do?

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