Happy Yule, everybody!

Happy Yule! Or Christmas or Hanukkah or Saturnalia or Hanukkah or HumanLight or Kwanzaa or Festivus or whatever you might to celebrate around this time.

Yule is from the old-time Germanic name for celebrations at this time of year, a name that Scandinavians still use. I don’t have a Yule log to burn, but with the help of wiktionary.org, I’ve composed some proto-Germanic, spoken some 2000 – 2500 years ago in what is now northern Germany and southern Scandinavia:

Gôdan Yehulan! Gôdô sunnôn-standingô! Hampan allaimaz mannumaz — allaimaz gumammaz andi kwenômaz.

Good Yule! Good sun-standing (solstice). Happiness to all people — to all men and women.

Solstice: the word is a borrowing from Old French solstice, in turn from Latin solstitium, “sun-standing”

Why celebrate at this time of year? Because in the northern hemisphere, the Sun seems like it is returning from having gone southward. Why lights? Because light is what the northern hemisphere is short of. Why evergreen trees? Because they seem like they are still alive. The traditional song “O Tannenbaum” / “O Christmas Tree” celebrates how that tree does not seem to die, as many other trees seem to.

As I’d noted in <a href=”https://nexuszine.wordpress.com/2010/12/26/the-reason-for-the-season-7000-years-ago/&#8221; title=”The Reason for the Season 7000 Years Ago”>The Reason for the Season 7000 Years Ago</a>, people have been marking out the solstices for centuries before Jesus Christ was born, and centuries before the first record of his ethnicity.


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