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Origins of Christmas Every year, billions of people around the world celebrate Christmas. From giving gifts, hanging lights, putting up the tree, and so much more, have you ever stopped and wondered where these collective traditions came from? Listen and learn about the origin of Christmas and its most widely celebrated traditions. Vurbl Audio for the Holidays
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Listen to The Yule Log Backstory Highlight
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the Yule log was sometimes brought home with considerable ceremony drawn with ropes by many willing hands, it being thought, or at least said, that all who helped were thereby insured against witchcraft. For the coming year, Herrick sings, Come Bring with the noise, My merry merry Boys, The Christmas Log to the firing While My Good Dame she bid you all Be free and drink to your heart's desire ing with the last year's brand, like the New Block and for good success in his spending on your salt teres play, that sweet luck may come while the log is attending in Provence, the whole family go out on Christmas Eve to bring in the log, which should be cut from a fruit tree. The bears walk in line, the eldest foremost and the rest in order of seniority. Ah, Carolus Sung, praying for fertility, infield and fold house and vineyard. The youngest child pours wine on the log in the name of the Trinity, and it is then thrown on the fire. In France, it was sometimes 4 ft long. It was always kindled at one end and replaced on the hearth every evening until consumed or till 12th night, if any of it still remained, it was carefully preserved as a charm against lightning and against chill Blaine's During the winter in Normandy before the revolution, it was usual to extinguish the household fire and kindle the log with a flame procured from a lamp in the nearest church. Sometimes when the log was duly placed and before it was kindled, the prettiest girl in the company was seated on it and her health drunk by all present in other places, the Children were warned not to sit on the log less they should catch the itch. Another strange custom was to chalk a rude figure of a man on the log before it was ceremoniously lighted. One would think this must have been a dim reminiscence of human sacrifice in heathen times. In many places, the presents for the Children were arranged on the yule log almost everywhere. The custom was that a remnant of the log should be reserved to kindle the new log next Christmas. Sometimes the remnant was kindled a fresh on candle, Miss Eve and after blazing a while, was quenched and preserved as a charm against fire and other misfortunes akin to. This was a custom in the Netherlands of Qinling, a splinter of For would quenching it when half burned and placing it under the bed as a charm against lightning in Brittany, it is still usual toe light, the log always with the brand rescued from last year. At the moment when midnight sounds from the church tower, the very widespread practice of Kindle ing, the new log with a remnant of the old seems like the survival of an ancient Celtic notion of a perpetual sacred fire.