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.

News

in Entertainment

You can be on ‘House of Cards’

Fresh
houseofcards

It's your chance to be part of a Washington scandal, and you don't even have to bribe a member of Congress.

in National

FCC takes aim at annoying telemarketing calls

Fresh
robocalls

Those automated phone calls during the dinner hour, late at night or to your wireless phone can be so frustrating — and the government is taking note.

in National

Thousands of homes destroyed in deadly Houston floods

Fresh
houston

Hundreds of people were ordered to evacuate flood-threatened areas of Texas as torrential rains battered the state.

in National

Military mistakenly ships live anthrax to labs across U.S.

Fresh
cdc

The live anthrax bacteria has been shipped to labs in nine states and an air base in South Korea.

in National

10 FOR TODAY: Thursday, May 28

Fresh
floods

Your daily look at the stories that will be talked about today.