Y is for Yule – the history interpreter’s historical advent calendar and Christmas greetings

Enjoyable first Christmas Eve for our community shop. Now sat in front of the woodburner half watching Christmas TV and yes, indexing memorial inscriptions and burials from transcripts. Before you suggest I should get out more, one of my party has succumbed to yet more plague so it will be a quiet Christmas. West Country rail routes are still impassable so I hope everyone has got to where they need to be. I am happily tracking Santa as he speeds across the globe – he’s currently approaching the Taj Mahal. Looking forward to Skyping friends and family tomorrow.

Happy Christmas and a peaceful joyous 2013 to all – thanks for following my ramblings – more historical trivia soon.

Wren hunting

Hunting a wren by wren boys on 26th December, primarily in Ireland and on the Isle of Man, has possible associations with pagan or druidic rituals. The live wren would be tied to a pole and donations sought from townspeople, often in return for a feather, to pay for a dance that evening. Later the live wren was replaced by an artificial one.


Jol or Jule was the feast to honour Jolnir, another name for the Norse Odin, god of alcohol and ecstasy. It commemorated the winter solstice and was celebrated on 21st December. Large logs would be dragged in and burnt to create light on a time of darkness. The feast lasted until the Yule log burnt out.

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