In honor of Friday the 13th I wanted to look into some superstitions related to Christmas. Specifically I wanted to explore the superstitions surrounding our namesake, the yule log. The yule log goes back to ancient times in connection to the celebration of the solstice in Europe. The connections to the light and fire mixed well with Christianity and the practices moved forward. Here’s the basic ritual. You must never purchase the log, it must be gifted or grown. You bring in the log on Christmas Eve and light it on fire. The fire is part of the celebration leading to Christmas day. You must not allow the log to burn completely. A portion of it must be kept for the following year and is used to light the next log. To allow the log to burn out completely would be an omen of bad luck.
There are some other superstitions connected to the log to review. Remember to never buy that yule log- bad luck. If it does not light easily it is a sign of bad times in the coming year. The flame is very important. If it were to go out before the night was through then tragedy would befall the family in the new year. Some believe you must burn it each of the 12 days of Christmas to ensure good fortune in the new year. Just burning the log protects the house from fire, lightning, and hail. The ashes of the yule log can be used to plant your fruit trees to guarantee a good harvest. The ashes can be dropped into your well to keep your water safe. All of this superstitions seem sensible enough, but there are some more outrageous claims. You must not let a barefooted woman or a squint-eyed man touch your log- bad news! If a flat-footed man comes calling while the log is burning, turn him away, also bad news. I would also avoid the light of the fire. If it casts your shadow without your head showing, that’s a sign that death was coming. I think I will stick to the basics with the Yule Log that we have here- a great way to showcase all that is good for Christmas!