festivals of light in the darkest times


Yuletide is celebrated by Europeans during the winter solstice. It is the time when the sun reaches its longest distance from the equatorial plane, resulting in the longest night. Then the light returns, although invisible. Ancient customs highlighted the ritual of sacrifice. They believed that the god Odin led the ghostly procession in the sky known as the Wild Hunt. According to Celtic legend, Yule represents the battle between the Oak King and the Holly King. In ancient Egypt, the day commemorated the rebirth of Ra, the sun god. They believed that every year was a cycle of birth, death and rebirth.