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.

Recent Headlines

2 hours ago in Local

31st Annual Police Officer Memorial Day Thursday

policememorial

Thursday marks the 31st annual Police Officer Memorial Day.

3 hours ago in Local

Springfield Police Department : Slow Down on the MacArthur Extension

springfield_police_1

Springfield Police say drivers are exceeding the posted speed limit on the MacArthur extension, south of Wabash.

4 hours ago in Local

No Vote Yet on Graduated Tax Proposal

tax

Maybe Wednesday

4 hours ago in Local

More Higher Ed Funding to be Considered

4-20-16 MAP Rally 1

Hundreds of millions of dollars would be going to higher education -- in addition to money they just received -- under an amendment to a spending bill an Illinois Senate committee has approved.

11 hours ago in Local

Just Enough Rain for Most of Illinois

crops

Corn progress best in years