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Or it may come from a Norse-Saxon word meaning wheel, referring to the seasonal cycles of the sun.Or it could have come from the Scandinavian Jule (Jul), who was the god of sex and fertility.Considering that the austerity and bleakness of Winter (in contrast to the relative abundance and warmth of Summer) would be so impactful upon the lives of primitive peoples living in temperate climates these festival times — and even Sun-worship — should come as no surprise.Stonehenge and hundreds of other megalithic structures throughout the world were constructed to receive a shaft of sunlight in their central chamber at solstice dawn.
The Spring Equinox marks the beginning of Spring, and for the ancient Mesopotamians was the beginning of their new year festival.
But to preserve the king, a criminal was made into a mock king, who was treated as if he was a king until he was slain.
Year-end celebrations in which masters acted as slaves and slaves acted as if they were masters became popular in several regions of the Mediterranean.
("Tide" as in "yuletide" may have come from an Old English word meaning time, occasion or season.) Midwinter sun festivals were celebrated in ancient Britain & Scandinavia.
In Germanic & Scandinavian countries a huge log was carried into the house to serve as the foundation for holiday fires.
The Yule log at Jultid (Yuletide) would burn for twelve days, and a different sacrifice would be made on each of the twelve days.