Meadery celebrates winter solstice with Yule
Oregon – Eclectic notes from the tin whistle, accordion and fiddle filled the Oran Mor Artisan Meadery Thursday night as part of a Celtic and Norse winter solstice yule party.
Bearded men dressed in traditional plaid kilts and women wore long braids for the special evening that celebrates the longest night of the year.
Yule, also called Yuletide and Christmastide, is a pagan festival observed by northern European countries, and is attributed as the earliest form of Christmas.
Traditionally, families will tie their hopes and wishes for the coming year onto a Yule log, or a tree stump. Then they toss the log into a large fire, thereby burning and releasing their wishes to the gods above.
“The main focus of Yule is hope for the new year,” Eric Dietz said at the party. He was dressed in traditional garb: a sword strapped to his kilt, a thick white beard, and a beret.
People symbolically drink mead during the winter solstice to celebrate lightness and darkness. That’s because mead is a type wine brewed from honey, a product of bees’ summertime work.
“Mead has an association with life and the sun, with honey coming from the bees and ultimately the flowers,” Oran Mor owner Lilly Weichberger said. “That association of light returning in the middle of darkness was a very common time for the mead to flow.”
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Meadery Profile: Oran Mor Artisan Meadery