22 June 2014

Celebrating the Seasons :: Yule

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Creating new traditions is something we love to do. A little ritual and seasonal nourishment help mark what's going on around us and put a little rhythm in our days… We tend to celebrate the biggest festivals at all the wrong times in the Southern Hemisphere and the meaning and tradition of them can be lost. Halloween and pumpkins when all around us are blossoms and berries… Or Easter eggs and spring chicks as we're harvesting pumpkins and apples. It just doesn't make sense and it feels so totally disconnected from nature. So, alongside the regular festivals, we take a leaf out of our pagan ancestors books and celebrate seasonally too. We figure you can never celebrate too much.

We've celebrated Beltane and Samhain before with great enthusiasm, but this year is the first time we've  properly celebrated Yule. 

So Yule totally makes sense in the middle of Winter! Who knew?!

Warming food, egg nog, fire, gifts and celebration when daylight hours have dwindled and it's cold outside and you need something to brighten the days… Totally logical. Yule in summer - not so much. But this weekend we had THE BEST Yule celebration. And it was so simple and fun and lovely. Here's how we do Yule - rather spontaneously I might add… we almost never plan ahead. I'll be referring back to this next year so we can do it all over again.

How to have a fabulous Southern Hemisphere Yule weekend:

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1. Go to the Winter Feast at Dark Mofo. Get there early so as to avoid huge crowds. Eat all the food while bumping into everyone you know, warming by the fire and listening to music. Get home and snuggle into bed with hotties and cups of tea.

solstice bush
sculpture trail

2. The next morning, spend a little time tidying your nest and then go for a walk and look for fungi and art in the bush.


3. Have a picnic in the sunshine and a smooch with someone you love, as the sun goes down.

candle rolling

4. Back at home, make a little Winter alter. Bring in a tree branch or two and hang some simple decorations from them and little wintry reminders nearby.
5. Hand roll some beeswax candles together

candle maisie

6. Light candles around a spiral in the garden (lucky we have one already!) Tea light candles in jars will do, with a special candle at the centre - we used the candle we light at our dinner table each night.
7. Walk to the centre of the spiral with hand-rolled candles and light them ceremoniously. Have a little chat about mid-winter and weathering winter's coldest days. Being a light in the darkness and that sort of thing.
8. Start a discussion about the stars and lights from Dark MOFO, then madly dash inside while the family carries on chatting and stargazing.


9. Sneak some handmade and simple gifts into everyone's Christmas stockings. Note that stockings  suddenly make so much sense, hanging by the fire place!
10. Invite everyone inside to open stockings and eat a hearty meal by the fire. We had a curried root vegetable pie and a pear and walnut salad with pomegranate juice, followed by fruit cake with vanilla bean ice cream and spiced, poached pears. And gingerbread and spicy apple cider before bed. Retire to bed with warm tummies and happy hearts.

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11.Wake the next morning and welcome the morning sun with a family yoga session. Sun salutations are totally appropriate. Then set the table for a breakfast feast of sunshiny things -  We had oranges, bananas and yoghurt with lemon flavoured water.
12. Send the family off for adventures while sneaking a quiet afternoon at home - phew!
13. Welcome everyone home, light the fire, have sunshiny eggs for an early dinner and pineapple upside down cake for dessert.
14. Tuck happy and exhausted owlets into bed early and snuggle by the fire with a loved one and a cat or two… Look forward to bed and festivals to come.

Yuletide blessings, friends. I hope your weekend has been gorgeous too. xx


  1. Beautiful way to celebrate and makes much more sense than doing so in December.

    1. It really was so lovely. Thanks for stopping by! xx


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