Thursday, December 10, 2009
At Yuletide, the Elder Heathens decorated their homes with ivy, holly, and boughs of evergreens. Ribbons were also used and the entire home covered with garlands and wreathes. Modern Heathen should do not less in an attempt to capture the Yuletide spirit. Below are three of the more common house decorations.
Yule Tree: The tradition of the Yule tree comes from Germany. Originally, it is believed the trees were decorated outside and gifts left for the land wights. This custom can still be observed in other parts of Northern Europe. With Christianity, the trees were brought inside to hide from the church. Modern Heathen trees can be decorated with Heathen symbols as well as the commercial lights, glitter, and ornaments. If one wants they can decorate a tree outside instead as the Heathens of old did.
Yule Wreaths: Modern tradition uses a Yule wreath at the Mothers' Night symbol as an oath ring. This wreath is oathed upon as well as wished upon, and then burned at the Twelfth Night blot. Therefore these wreathes are best made out of natural substances such as cedar branches. Other wreathes can be used as decorations around the house.
Lights: In the more northern countries, Lucy Day, which was a festival of lights, is celebrated and seems an ancient holiday in connection with Yule. Candles, torches, and other forms of light were left burning to light up the night skies. Today we can use electric lights for the same purpose.
~Source: Asiya's Shadows