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

  1. #21
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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.


    img058.jpg

    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; 12-12-2021 at 06:17 PM.

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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.

    img080.jpg

    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.


    img006.JPG
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-19-2021 at 12:29 PM.

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    img059.jpg

    Candles at Midwinter

    Candles are lit in great numbers before and during the darkness of midwinter.
    The candles are often embellished with evergreens, pinecones, red berries.
    Sometimes the candles are placed in rows.....Sometimes they are placed in a round circles, symbolizing eternity.

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    LUTEFISK
    A Christmas Tradition



    img060.jpg
    .....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

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    HATE Lutefisk.
    LOVE the song "Lutefisk Lament"

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    POINSETTIA
    WEED



    img062.jpg
    Prior to the 1400's, the Aztecs called this plant "Cutilaxochitl"
    In Chili and Peru, the plant is known as "Crown of the Andes"
    Through the 17th century, this plant, native to Mexico, was called the "Star Flower" weed (did you know the poinsettia plants grow wild in Mexico?)
    Franciscan monks in Mexico include these plants in their Yule celebrations
    It was renamed "Poinsettia" by William Hickling Pescott in 1837.
    Today it is a popular holiday decorating and gift item.

    img065.jpg

    Christmas Cards often picture the Poinsettia, often with text explaining the Legend of the Poinsettia.
    This is an ATC size Poinsettia card that can also be hung as a tree ornament.
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-15-2021 at 09:42 PM.

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    Midwinter in other countries:

    img067.jpg
    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, delivering presents to children "down under", is NOT pulled by reindeer!

    Six White Boomers pull Santa's sleigh through the sky
    .....At Christmas, in Australia, (NOT) reindeer ("Boomers" are kangaroos.)
    .....This ATC is Landscape format, and folds in half to fit into the ATC sleeve
    .....The sleigh has silver metallic runners to increase speed
    .....The sleigh is driven by a Wombat
    .....Clouds are created from cotton
    .....Structure in lower right distance is the Sydney Opera House, Australia's most famous landmark
    .....This unique structure is one of the world's most instantly recognisable and iconic buildings. In 1956 an international competition to design an opera house for Sydney was held. J°rn Utzon had his extraordinary design declared the winner on January 29, 1957.
    .....When card is closed, it says "Australia" on the front panel
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-15-2021 at 09:41 PM.

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    img073.jpg

    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 Tanngnjˇstr, 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.

    img068.jpg
    Card Closed

    img069.jpg
    Card Open
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-19-2021 at 07:25 PM.

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    Time Honored Winter Traditions

    Holiday Pudding

    img071.jpg
    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

    img072.jpg
    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; 12-19-2021 at 01:50 PM.

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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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    Romans sent holly and gifts to their friends during Saturnalia, a custom which early Christians adopted despite controversy.

    Miss Holly
    img074.jpg

    .....Stamped and watercolor Holly Doll
    .....Holly embellishments
    .....Feet are on a brad, so they move/spin as Miss Holly runs to you


    Holly Plant
    img077.jpg

    A Merry Heart doeth good.....like a medicine (Proverbs 14:22)
    .....Leaves were freeform cut from shiny green cardstock
    .....Berries are foil wrapped pills (medicine)
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-22-2021 at 07:48 AM.

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    Midwinter Traditions

    Real Holiday Pickle
    img085.jpg

    Legend has it that in old world Germany, for those unable to purchase expensive holiday decorations, families would cut their own tree from the forest, and decorate it with real food -- fruit, grain, corn, cookies. And just prior to holiday festivities a real, whole, pickle would be "hidden" in the family pantry, or added to one of the holiday dishes -- perhaps the salad, or the jello, or hidden in the sauerkraut. The lucky one who found (and ate) the pickle would be assured good fortune and health in the coming year.


    Glass Holiday Pickle
    img086.jpg

    As families became more successful, a purchased glass pickle ornament would be hidden amongst the green pine boughs or hung on the Yule tree on Solstice Eve. The first to glimpse the dill ornament the next morning would be assured good fortune and health in the upcoming year.
    Last edited by Vicki Z; 12-22-2021 at 07:21 AM.

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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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    I would like to join this swap. Here are my cards. They will go out today or tomorrow.

    Holly.jpg Holly: Holly is sacred to Holle, the Germanic underworld goddess, and symbolizes everlasting life, goodwill, and potent life energy.

    Mistletoe.jpg Mistletoe: Druids believed tha t the green leaves represented fertility of the Mother Goddess and the white berries represented the seed of the Forest God.

    Poinsettia.jpg Poinsettia: Poinsettias were considered by the ancient Aztecs to be symbols of purity. The flowers symbolize good cheer and success.

    The Yule Mushroom, Fly Agaric.jpg Yule Mushroom: Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) is of Siberian-Beringian origin. It was a symbol of fertility for the pagan Winter Solstice. It was seen as a time of rebirth and new beginnings with the passing of the shortest day of the year.
    "If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and the voice will be silenced" Van Gogh

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    And the rest:

    Yule Boar.jpg Yule Boar: The boar is sacred to Freyr, the Norse god of virility, peace, prosperity and fair weather.

    Three Candles.jpg Candles: Candles have been used at Yule to welcome back the sun and represent the energy of the gods. Tradition is that you should light every candle in your home and keep them burning all of the darkest day.

    Yule Bells.jpg Yule Bells: Bells were often rung during the Winter Solstice to drive away demons that surfaced during the dark time of the year.
    "If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and the voice will be silenced" Van Gogh

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    Welcome
    I signed you up

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    Okay, mine are ready to send in!

    FullSizeRender-compressed 5.jpg Yule Celtic Symbol

    FullSizeRender(1)-compressed 2.jpg Yule Stag

    FullSizeRender(2)-compressed 2.jpg Midwinter Candles

    FullSizeRender(3)-compressed 2.jpg Five Elements Yule Star

    Phew! I've not thought so long and hard on an ATC project! Thanks for hosting.

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    Lovely cards.
    I just sent you my address via PM.
    I will let you know when your ATCs arrive.

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    FAB cards received from middleearthtraveller and jo.on.the.go.

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