Tag Archives: Yule

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: UP-HELLY-AA


Up-Helly-Aa

This ancient fire festival is observed by people ofLerwick in the Shetland Islands. In pre-Christian times, their Norse ancestors welcomed the return of the sun god with Yule, a 24-day period of feasting, storytelling, and bonfires. The last night of the festival was called Up-Helly-Aa, or “End of the Holy Days.” Today, a group known as the Guizers builds a 31-foot model of a Viking longship in honor of the Viking invaders who remained in Scotland. On the night of Up-Helly-Aa, the Guizers dress in Norse costumes and carry the boat to an open field. There, they throw lit torches into the ship and burn it. More… Discuss

Enhanced by Zemanta

TODAY’S HOLIDAY: ST. KNUT’S DAY


St. Knut’s Day

The feast day of King Canute (or Knut), who ruled Denmark, England, and Norway in the 11th century, marks the end of the Yuletide season in Sweden. Rather than letting the holidays fade quietly, Swedish families throughout the country hold parties to celebrate the final lighting (and subsequent dismantling) of the Christmas tree. After letting the children eat the cookies and candies used to decorate the tree, and after packing the ornaments away in their boxes, it is customary to hurl the tree through an open window. More…

 

Enhanced by Zemanta