Yule is the festival of the winter solstice! The major pagan holiday honors the return of the light and begins on the night of the shortest day of the year. If you’re looking for some ideas on how to celebrate Yule, we’ve got you covered.
Yule is a great time to be cozy and rest, much like the natural world is doing right now too. Inner work is supported by longer nights, and if you live in the north, even more so since there’s a distinct possibility you might be snowed in! Here are some of my favorite ways to celebrate Yule.
10 Ways to Celebrate Yule
1. Make a Yule Log or Light Candles
If you’re feeling especially crafty, consider making your own Yule log by carving a log using a fallen branch, some evergreens, and candles. You can also bake one if that’s more your speed.
Or, if you don’t have a fireplace or a workspace to make one, light candles instead. Choose a candle color that invite in what you desire more of in the coming year and enjoy the warming glow.
Green, gold, red, and white candles are traditional Yule candle colors. Green and gold candles are good options for prosperity, health, and new growth. Red candles can be used for courage, willpower (and lust), and white for protection.
2. Make a Tomte
In Nordic countries, tomte are mischievous household spirits with beards and pointy hats. Often associated with the Yule Goat and gift giving, they are way better than a creepy Elf on the Shelf and cuter too. If you are at all crafty, you probably already have most of the items you need to make one or many little gnome friends.
3. Write Intentions for the Next Year
The winter solstice is a very powerful time for setting intentions for the following year. Light a candle and write down your desires for the upcoming year. Make this list as detailed as you wish and keep it on your altar or under your pillow. Some pagans throw the piece of paper with their desires into a bonfire as they believe the energy of the fire helps make the intentions come to fruition.
4. Bake Cookies for Friends
Yule is associated with sweet treats for a reason: eating rich food with friends means the following year will be filled with good luck and abundance. Kitchen witches will find they already have some great spices like cinnamon and nutmeg that can help invite prosperity.
5. Craft Evergreen Wreaths
There is just something cheery about bringing evergreen branches inside during the winter when everything else is grey and lifeless. Whether you make a wreath for the wheel of the year or a sprig wand, bringing in greenery will transform the feeling of your home.
6. Make a Sun Ornament
Grab some sticks, twine, and colorful yarn to make a sun wheel. The days gradually getting longer after the winter solstice, but if you live in the north, the actual sun won’t be making much of an appearance for a while. Having a reminder around that the sun will return can be a mood lifter when it won’t stop sleeting.
7. Kiss Under the Mistletoe
In pagan cultures, kissing under the mistletoe is associated with fertility and the Goddess Freya. It’s also a fun way to celebrate the winter solstice. For those singles out there, it’s still good to hang around the holiday, as it’s believed to protect the home against unfriendly spirits.
8. Dream Journal
Yule occurs during the darkest time of the year. Because of this, it’s a great time to improve your astral travel abilities or simply to tap more into what your subconscious is telling you through your dreams. Keep a pretty journal near your bed and jot down some notes when you first wake up (before you start scrolling on your phone). Dreams during this time of the year are often very detailed and can yield insights into what will be important in the coming year.
9. Go for a Walk in Nature
Observing the natural world in resting form is a great way to celebrate Yule. By walking in nature, whether it’s on a wooded path, a field, or near water, can hel you feel the season deeply and gain a greater understanding of the meaning of resting and regenerating.
10. Donate to a Food Bank
Giving back all year long is great if you can do it. The winter solstice has traditionally been a time where keeping the community safe and fed is of even more importance. If you are able, make a contribution to your local food bank to keep this spirit alive.