Day 11 of the Yuletide celebration is for “Bringing in the Boar.” There is a tradition dating back to the 15th Century of bringing in the head of a boar after the hunt; oaths were sworn on it, and they were as binding as any taken. On this night we are reminded of the strength of our word and the strength of our heart. What will you seek for you and your family? What will you do that brightens your life and the lives of others?
For the night of Yule, we should toast the Great Boar himself, but as I was eager to try out a new cooking pot, our Great Boar is instead a first try at boeuf bourguignon. I will post the recipe after we try this – if it tastes good. Presently, it is still in the oven.
Yuletide continues and on this tenth day we honor the Spirits of the Home and Hearth – asking them to watch over our home and tools and to light our way through the year to come.
Work is customarily set aside for the Yuletide celebration, and as it draws to a close, this is the day to begin preparing for things to be done; sorting yarns and fabrics, looking over stores of herbs and spices, sharpening the knives.
At our home, we chose tonight to celebrate other wintertime occasions – birthdays and anniversaries – with family. We drove down to Silverton, OR to the Silver Grille for supper and dessert. The food was very nice, and the company of my in-laws made the night very special.
On The ninth day of Yule, we celebrate the green growing things of the season. In the North, we honor the evergreen, that stays green even as the rest of the world appears to die. Tonight, a candle is lit with thanks that life circles each year. Those things that sleep in our gardens and orchard will soon awaken as the wheel continues to turn.
The eighth day of Yule is traditionally titled a “Celebration of Snow.” We have had a warm wet winter, with no snow, barely even seeing temperatures drop below freezing. We’ll remember how beautiful and still it was in the winter of 2016.
. Even without a blanket of winter snow, nature goes through the same cycle of rest.
So for today, I’ll light a candle and be thankful for the turning of the wheel that supports all life. I’ll be thankful for the snow in the mountains, thankful for the water it returns to the earth for the summer and thankful for our cozy home that shields us when winter decides to blast.
On this seventh day of Yuletide, tradition calls for the honoring of fools and the swapping of roles in the social order. This is a reminder that nature is always close to chaos and that shaking thing up can lead to important lessons. We didn’t do much to honor this day for 2018, but it did look like some fool had run through our house swapping everything. We spent the day tidying and putting the house back in order. It felt nice to see the dinner table again.