Yule log signifies custom of days gone by

Yule log signifies custom of days gone by

YULE LOG: For centuries, the yule log was a tradition in many European homes. Photo:

For many lovers of holiday sweets, the Yule log is known as a tasty treat. But for others, it’s a reminder of an old custom gone by.

As far back as the 12th century, many Europeans would mark the holidays with the lighting of the Yule log.

They’d chop down an enormous log and, according to custom, bring the wood into the house amid great ceremony on Christmas Eve.

The master of the house would often sprinkle the log with oil, salt and wine while saying suitable prayers.

In some families, the mother would then light the wood, while children had the privilege in other homes.

It was said the cinders of the log would ward off the evil powers of the devil.

The tradition persisted in Europe, and even in Canada, until the last quarter of the 19th century.

But experts say its disappearance coincides with the advent of the cast-iron stove, which largely replaced the great wood-burning hearths.

Today, the Yule log has become a traditional pastry, generally a cake roll, smothered in coffee or chocolate-flavored icing, and decorated with sugared holly leaves and roses.

Latest Headlines

in Local

Two Die In Crashes


MEDWAY, Maine (AP) Maine State Police say a woman was killed and her husband was injured in a one-car crash on Interstate 95 just south of Medway.

in Local

Police Investigating Bullet Found At Portland Hotel Room


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) Police are investigating after a bullet was found embedded in a second-floor room of a Portland hotel over the weekend.

in Local

Legislature Won’t Take Up Earned Sick Time Bill


PORTLAND, Maine (AP) Maine's Legislative Council is blocking progress of a bill designed to allow workers to earn paid sick leave.

in Trending, Viral Videos

TODAY’S MUST SEE: Holiday parodies of the year’s biggest hits


From "Bad Blood" and "Watch Me," to "Uptown Funk," here are the year's hottest songs made fit for the holidays.

in Local

New Navy Destroyer’s Seaworthiness Questioned


BATH, Maine (AP) — The largest destroyer ever built for the U.S. Navy is futuristic and angular. But its hull is based on a design that dates to pre-dreadnought battleships a century ago.


  • 27m
  • 2h
  • 14h
  • 14h
  • 25h
  • 26h
  • 34h