The Winter Solstice is also referred to as "Yule". For centuries, the Winter Solstice has been a celebration of harvest, wonder and magic. The shortest day of the year was always a time to gather and share.
In chapter 55 of the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, different names for the gods are given. One of the names provided is "Yule-beings." A work by the skald Eyvindr skáldaspillir that uses the term is then quoted, which reads:
Ynglinga saga, the first book of Heimskringla, first mentions a Yule feast in 840. After 1000, it is the main feast of the year.
- Again we have produced Yule-being's feast [mead of poetry], our rulers' eulogy, like a bridge of masonry.
Saga of Hákon the Good credits King Haakon I of Norway with the Christianization of Norway, as well as rescheduling the date of Yule to coincide with Christian celebrations held at the time.
Today the limited light of the day has been caught through my iPhone camera about two hours before the earth´s tilting stoped and slowly will bring light and warmth back up north.The lawn at my cottage is covered with snow and temperature is minus 7 C.
Although Yule in modern times proper starts with the chiming of the church-bells in the afternoon of julaften ("Yule Eve" or "Christmas Eve") on December 24, the previous day lillejulaften (little Christmas Eve), when the tree is put up and decorated, is increasingly the actual start date for the 13 day long Yule celebration in Norway.
Julaften remains the main event, with a traditional lunch, dinner and the exchange of gifts. Traditional dishes vary by region, but ribbe (pork ribs), and pinnekjøtt, some places also codfish are eaten. (We are having cod and red wine today)
As a continuation of older beliefs, a bowl of porridge is sometimes left outside for nisse . Maybe the spots in the snow show that "Nisse" has visited my cottage.