Anglo-Saxon Pagan “Christmas” Traditions | 1828

Note: I am unable to reproduce the specialized font used  in the original text for the Anglo-Saxon terms but you can consult the original at google books.

Or the rites of the Anglo-Saxons we cannot learn many particulars. In the month of February they offered cakes to their deities, which occasioned the month to be called Sol monath. September, from its religious ceremonies, was denominated Hahj monath, the holy month.

November was marked, as the month of sacrifices, Blot monath, because at this period they devoted to their gods the cattle that they slew. As it was their custom to use during the winter salted or dried meat, perhaps November, or Blot monath, was the period when the winter provision was prepared and consecrated.

Their celebrated festival of Leol, Jule, or Yule, which occurred at the period of our Christmas, was a combination of religion and conviviality. December was called epcepa Leola, or before the Leol.  January was epcepa Leola, or after it.

As one of the Saxon names for Christmas day was Leola, or Leohol dej, it is likely that this was the time when the festival commenced.

This day was the first of their year; and as Bede derives it from the turning of the sun, and the days beginning then to lengthen; as it was also called mother night, and as their sun was worshipped as a female, I suspect that this was a festival dedicated to the sun.

Source: The History of the Anglo-Saxons from the earliest period to the Norman conquest, Sharon Turner, 1828

Note: I am unable to reproduce the specialized font used  in the original text for the Anglo-Saxon terms but you can consult the original at google books.

 

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