• Charring the Old wife

    by Scott

    Beyond the Yule breads and celebration Plant lore is the verdant heart of Scottish folk holidays and traditions charring the old wife is a unique Scottish tradition. The Yules are no exception, even though at Yuletide the greenery has all but gone, the ground grasped in winter’s frozen embrace.  If we look beyond this, nature’s gift and sacrifice is found in the burning heart of Yule – the Yule log of ash or birch. “While Santa keeks doon frae the mantle above,the Yule log crackles oan this Christmas Nicht,waurmin’ hearth an’ hame by burnin’ sae bricht.We coorie thegither, my wife …

  • Midsummer, the summer solstice, St Johns mass (the birth of St. John the Baptist), An Fheill Sheathan – all these names recall a festival that is at counterpoint to Yul or Jul. Like the Winter solstice feast the summer solstice, though not ignored by the Gaels and other Celtic people were of much less importance to them than other Europeans. It’s suggested that the Celts didn’t divide their calendar by solstices. The largest traces we have of the solstice celebrations are, unsurprisingly, in Orkney and Shetland where the Scandinavian influences were strongest. Masons and Masonic lodges in later years also …

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