We all sing about the Twelve Days of Christmas, but you might not have realized that the pagan celebration of Yule is twelve days long, starting (this year) with the eve of the winter solstice on December 20 and ending on December 31.
Back when people followed a lunar calendar there were twelve days “leftover” at the end of the year. These twelve nights thus became a special time where the veil between the worlds was thin and celebrations abounded. In ancient Rome, the Festival of Saturnalia (honoring Saturn—the god of agricultural bounty) lasted about a week at this time of year. (Christmastide is also twelve days long from December 25 through January... Continue Reading