Is It Your Rule Hook Up A Mule To Drag In The Yule Log?

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

So, think about the Yule Log tradition - is it your rule to hook up a mule to drag in the Yule Log?

We've mostly all heard of the Yule Log tradition.  But what is the tradition of the Yule Log anyway?

It's a tradition probably extending back before medieval times, and said to be Norse.

In Scandinavia and Northern Europe, YULE  was/is the name given to Winter Solstice festivals.

Way back the tradition consisted of selecting a tree, tall and straight and true.  The whole family would go out the day before the day before the Winter Solstice (or in Christian homes on Christmas Eve Eve) and find the perfect candidate.

It would then be cut down, stripped of its limbs and measured and cut again into the perfect length.  The horse, or mule, or family would then drag it home!

A bit of the log from the previous year's Yule Log celebration had been saved and was placed in the fireplace.  Then the new log would be pulled into the house, doing no damage of course (wink), and the large end was pushed into the fireplace.  It was lifted up on a rack to be able to burn properly.

As last year's log remains were set underneath, it was lit to ignite the end of the new Yule Log.  And, as a bit of the new log would burn each day the remainder was slowly dragged into the fireplace.  The carefully measured and cut log would be long enough to last the Twelve Days of Christmas, with some left over to be used as kindling for the next year.  Imagine the living room!

Do you have the picture in your mind, with 18 or 20 feet of log sticking out into the room for twelve days!  Where did they put the Christmas tree and all the presents?  How did they watch football?  Wow, the mind boggles...

In France they would sprinkle the log with wine to make it smell nice.

But there are other recipes too, for fun Yule Log burning.

Sprinkling the log with salt would create yellow flames.  And with borax soap bright-green flames would result.  Adding potassium nitrate resulted in violet flames, and copper sulphate burned blue.

So the log was not only traditional and festive, but colorful too!  Those same elements are used today in the cutsie fire logs people burn that create the different colors.

Of course, if you aren't so inclined to have a long log sticking out into your room, or if you don't have a wood-burning fireplace, you can always settle for the lesser tradition.

The dessert Yule Log!

Made from various rolled cakes and icings, sprinkled with nuts to create bark or decorated with marzipan mushrooms and holly leaves, many people have the annual Yule Log dessert!

So, pick your poison - the mule dragging the yule, or eating a traditional dessert, you can celebrate the wondrous Winter Solstice.  Or consider it a Christmas holiday activity!

Burn it or eat it!  You see, either way, everyone can be accommodated!

Make the Yule  your Rule  this holiday season! 

Personally I pause to consider and be thankful for the birth of my, and your, Savior.  And I celebrate a Merry Christmas.

But if you want to go the dessert route, I might join you in that too!

 

 

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Rainmaker
1,763,686
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Hey, I have a great idea!  Let's put candles on the dry pine Christmas tree!  It'll be like a lot of stars!

Some ideas are discarded quickly Charlie.  Like drapes and sparks!

Dec 23, 2013 01:00 AM #25
Ambassador
1,316,959
Charles Buell
Charles Buell Inspections Inc. - Seattle, WA
Seattle Home Inspector

Jay, I can still remember the little metal candle holders that were ACTUALLY placed on the dead, dry Christmas tree--talk about scarry!

Dec 23, 2013 01:10 AM #26
Rainmaker
1,763,686
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Cute!  I have a lot of very old ornaments, like from near the turn of the last century Charlie, but none like that!

Dec 23, 2013 01:13 AM #27
Rainmaker
1,545,206
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

I think I will stick to the dessert Yule Log.  Thanks for that information.

Dec 23, 2013 01:34 AM #28
Rainmaker
1,763,686
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

C'mon Grant!  Get out there, start cutting and dragging, and send us a photo! 

Dec 23, 2013 01:56 AM #29
Rainmaker
796,482
Liz Wallace
Century 21 Sherlock Homes - Rockville Centre, NY
Broker C21 Sherlock Homes, Rockville Centre, LI, N

Since I don't have a mule or a horse don't see one in my future, I'll opt for the dessert.  Merry Christmas.

Dec 23, 2013 02:13 AM #30
Rainmaker
355,526
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Jay, thanks for the history lesson! While we do have a wood-burning fireplace, and I believe the fragrance might be fabulous, the extension into the room would definitely be problematical!!

Dec 23, 2013 02:25 AM #31
Rainmaker
1,763,686
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Liz - that's the spirit!  At least you are participating!  Wonderful Winter Solstice Festival or Merry Christmas, whichever you prefer!

Tom - c'mon!  You can ignore it for a few days while you sprinkle wine and salt on it as it burns in the fireplace.

I post a little Christmas history every year.  Last year's was about the Christmas tree.

http://activerain.com/blogsview/3563145/the-christmas-tree-bringing-in-the-green

Dec 23, 2013 03:49 AM #32
Rainmaker
355,526
Tom White
Franklin Homes Realty LLC (615) 495-0752 or www.FranklinHomesRealty.com - Franklin, TN
Franklin Homes Realty LLC, Franklin TN

Jay, thanks for giving me (us) the link for last year's story about the Christmas tree. It's hard to believe it's relatively recent history! Very well done!

Dec 23, 2013 03:57 AM #33
Rainmaker
1,763,686
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

That little Victoria really influenced everyday American society Tom!

My grandmother, by the way, born 1888, was VERY Victorian in her thinking.

Dec 23, 2013 04:02 AM #34
Rainmaker
1,736,289
Tom Arstingstall, General Contractor, Dry Rot, Water Damage Sacramento, El Dorado County - (916) 765-5366
Dry Rot and Water Damage www.tromlerconstruction.com Mobile - 916-765-5366 - Placerville, CA
General Contractor, Dry Rot and Water Damage

Interesting information about the yule log Jay. I leaning toward the dessert though this week.  :)

Dec 23, 2013 07:18 AM #35
Rainmaker
1,763,686
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

A log dessert sounds a whole lot better than dragging a ton through the woods Tom!

Dec 23, 2013 07:24 AM #36
Rainmaker
2,465,331
James Dray
Fathom Realty AR LLC - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

I just love history and today was a great history lesson.  thanks.  I don't believe I could get a 20' log into my home.

Dec 23, 2013 08:04 PM #37
Rainmaker
1,763,686
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I couldn't into mine James.  Inside one door is the staircase and the other the kitchen island!

Dec 23, 2013 08:07 PM #38
Rainmaker
2,784,953
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Purple holiday flames..mmmm...wow...it couldn't get better than that...all the best Jay to you and yours...

Dec 23, 2013 08:18 PM #39
Rainmaker
1,763,686
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

It would be fun, huh S&D?  I for one would be more inclined toward burgundy and deep yellow flames, but that's just me...

Dec 23, 2013 08:22 PM #40
Rainmaker
240,822
Bette Gottwald
UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
"Bet"on Central PA Real Estate!

Jay, Thank you for the history lesson about the "Yule Season."  I look forward to reading your blog to my Grandchildren.  Merry Christmas to you and yours!

Dec 23, 2013 09:41 PM #41
Rainmaker
1,763,686
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thank you Bette!  And Merry Christmas!

They might like this blog about the Christmas tree:

http://activerain.com/blogsview/3563145/the-christmas-tree-bringing-in-the-green

http://activerain.com/blogsview/3563145/the-christmas-tree-bringing-in-the-green#sthash.f95GzBIW.dpuf
Dec 23, 2013 10:01 PM #42
Rainmaker
973,368
Rob Arnold
Sand Dollar Realty Group, Inc. - Altamonte Springs, FL
Metro Orlando Full Service - Investor Friendly & F

Interesting history. I knew a lot of the Christmas season had to do with the winter solstice but did not know about the Yule Log.  Thanks for sharing.  Merry Christmas. 

Dec 24, 2013 05:11 AM #43
Rainmaker
1,763,686
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Certainly Rob.  Shepherds weren't in the fields in winter.  The real event was certainly spring, and the tax season.  But that doesn't make for great songs and marketing!

Merry Christmas!

Dec 24, 2013 09:03 PM #44
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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