Yule is on the way and it is a magickal and special time of the year. Although Yule isn’t the traditional time of the Pagan calendar for handfasting or wedding ceremonies, there are some who break with tradition and choose this time of year for their ceremony.
Yule, is the Pagan festival celebrating the winter solstice, the shortest day on 21st December. It is a time of great festivities, honouring, celebrating, eating and drinking; key elements after weddings and ceremonies. Yule is celebrating by Pagans in slightly different ways, with some customs crossing between the various Pagan pantheons.
Norse Weddings and Handfasting at Yule
For those who follow Norse Paganism, Yule is the festival associated with Odin, one of the principal Gods of the Norse pantheon, and Yule wasn’t the traditional time for weddings.
Weddings in Old Norse times were traditionally held on a Friday in homage to Frigg, Queen of the Norse Gods, the Goddess of marriage and the home. (Many believe Freya was the Goddess who gave her name to this day now known as Friday, and it was Freya who was the Goddess of marriage. Another discussion for a different time).
Weddings took place during the autumn after the harvest to ensure there was plenty of food available. A month’s supply of mead was gifted to the couple to toast Odin and Frigg/Freya. Mead was seen as a fertility aid and enough was given to last until the next full moon, hence the term ‘honeymoon’.
The Return of the Sun
For those who follow some Pagan paths, Yule is the sabbat at the top of the Wheel of the Year. It is the winter solstice; the shortest day celebrating the end of darker evenings and the return of the sun with longer daylight hours.
Lighting candles is part of Yule, and choosing to include a candle ceremony or a unity candle within a Yule wedding or handfasting can be both celebratory and meaningful.
The burning of a Yule log is an old Pagan custom, and lighting candles within a Yule log can be including in any Yule ceremony. If you are having an outdoor ceremony with tents and firepits, the burning of the Yule log can be a symbolic part of the ceremony.
Wedding cakes made to look like the traditional Yule log make a great addition for a Yule wedding or celebration.
Handfasting at Yule
Yule decorations are bright, colourful and symbolic of the festival. It is all about bringing the outdoors indoors with conifers, pine cones, evergreens such as ivy and holly and mistletoe.
Handfasting cords can be made up of these colours and decorating with Yule symbols.
Green is the colour of rebirth and renewal.
Red is for passion and prosperity.
White symbolises light and purity.
Gold is associated with wealth and energy.
Brown represents the earth
Yule is a time of celebration, so why not have a double celebration and choose Yule as your ceremony month.