Today is the Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, and also Yule — one of the most important dates on the Asatru Pagan calendar. The sun is at its lowest point today and no other day of the year has less daylight.
In English there is a distinction between Yule and Christmas (although Yule is often mistakenly used to mean Christmas). In Icelandic and the other Scandinavian languages, there is no difference: Jól or Jul.
The Pagan Yule is a celebration of the returning sun. And to this end, a solstice festival will be held today by the Asatru association in Reykjavik at the religion’s plot near Nautholsvik at Oskjuhlid hill at 18.00. People are asked to assemble in the car park 15 minutes before. Everyone is welcome.
“We will walk with burning torches into the clearing where the statue of Sveinbjorn Beinteinsson, the first Gothi of the Association, is located. The ceremony will take place there,” a press release states. The release goes on to say that in previous years a great number of Icelanders have taken the opportunity to celebrate the returning sun, “Whether they are Pagans or not”.
After the ceremony, the Association will hold a Yule feast.