Yule Dance – Feast Of Fools – Snowfall

Winter Solstice the longest night and shortest day of the year is also called Yule. Yule may mean ‘Yoke of the Year’, derived from the Anglo-Saxon Geola, though some suggest a derivation from the Norse Jul, meaning ‘wheel’.  Yule promises the gradual return of the sun after prolonged darkness.

Many Winter Solstice and Yule customs are identified with Christmas today.  If you decorate your home with a Yule tree, holly, candles, or mistletoe you are following some of these old traditions. Yule is a period of enlightenment and renewal of spirit. It’s a time for introspection, and planning for the future.

The Feast of Fools,  a name given popular medieval festivals regularly celebrated by the clergy and laity from the fifth century until the sixteenth century in several countries of Europe, principally France, but also Spain, Germany, Poland, England, and Scotland. The central idea, in the majority view, makes the medieval festival a successor to the Roman Saturnalia.

Dan Fogelberg wrote these 3 wonderful instrumentals which appeared on The First Christmas Morning Recorded March 1998 to April 1999 at Mountain Bird Studios Colorado.  Dan plays the guitars, mandolin, piano, keyboards, autoharp, and percussion and created all the orchestral arrangements performed by others.

♫ Yule Dance
“Another of my ‘Medieval’ guitar compositions. I see lords and ladies in their festive Renaissance finery, dancing in the brightly candle-lit great hall of some Florentine villa while the wine and laughter flows freely.”

Feast Of Fools
“This is one of several guitar pieces I wrote in the Renaissance style.”

Snowfall
“This piece was inspired by all the wonderful nights I’ve spent by the fire watching the snow pile up, drifting so beautifully outside the windows and turning the mountains into a fairyland while the music of Greig, Tchaikovsky and Mozart casts it’s magnificent spell over me.”

Yule Dance – Feast  Of  Fools – Snowfall

9 thoughts on “Yule Dance – Feast Of Fools – Snowfall

    • Hi Ann,
      I’m glad you liked the little bit of history. Thanks for the blog compliment too. I have been playing around with new themes. I think I may stick with this one for awhile. I’m well but very tired as I haven’t been sleeping well but I do hope to sleep well tonight.

  1. This is such a great reminder how we’ve melded so many cultures into the American/Christian Christmas holiday. This is so well done I’m posting it on my Facebook.

  2. From the standpoint of Christian influenced Christmas, the Germans do genuinely have a wonderful, nearly fairytale like practices at Christmas which we have absorbed or are trying to imitate: for the latter, several major North American cities (including Vancouver & Toronto) have held their own Christmas markets. But really,one HAS to go Germany to experience this. The wooden toys, the marzipan, cookies with German words…

    Since dearie was born in Germany and came from there, his mother really did celebrate Christmas, NOT in the commercial but with genuine German customs of:
    *freshly cut evergreen boughs to decorate all over the house
    *real Christmas tree with REAL lit candles, a practice stopped after his childhood. The house nearly fell one year…
    *her home baking when she spent nearly a whole week baking several differen types of german Christmas cookies, linzertorte (hazelnut tart pie with raspberry almond filling) which were top pastry chef quality (she trained in German at a technical college) that was aged to deepen flavour over several weeks (that is TRUE quality baking, no preservatives), multi-layered cake tortes..

    So he does carry some of these traditions forward. He seems to like having a pointisetta each Christmas, I suspect for colour and memory of his mother who had an excellent green thumb and was lover of flowers.

  3. Yes, I was familiar with the Coco-Coala influence on Santa’s suit & colours. :)

    The link I gave in last comment above, features a slideshow of original paintings and carvings that I cobbled together for pieces I saw at the Museum in Freiburg, Germany which illustrate the year-round colours red and green for common Christian stories. Though religious, at the same time, it felt vaguely nearly mythological/celebratory to me when I was there, given the “festive” colours I associate with Christmas.

  4. I’m not familiar with the dance of fools/similar during that era. So thanks for this post.
    What surprised me was to learn of the origins of Christmas colours…red and green which of course, are colours drawn from Nature but also with religious Christian associations.
    When I visited some major art museums in southern Germany (this was last summer), their permanent art collections of paintings, carvings (medieval, rennaisance) the religious art was often depicted in predominantly colours of red and green. It gave alot of these old pieces a living warmth…whether or not it was positive or sadder messages/stories.

    http://cyclewriteblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/freiburg-germany-cycling-among-medieval-and-renaissance-restoration/

    None of this is related to music,..unless it depicted angels and cherubs playing trumpets, lutes, etc. :)

    • Hi Jean,
      Regarding the green and red colors and Santa’s suit
      Early images of Father Christmas show him in a variety of coloured outfits. One early incarnation, dating from 1809, sees him in green. But, contrary to legend, red and white became his familiar dress long before Coca-Cola used the image. A familiar version of Father Christmas was used on the cover of Harper’s Weekly in 1863 but Coca Cola did not use his image until 1931.

      As Mark Pendergrast, author of For God, Country and Coca-Cola, concluded: “Prior to the Sundblom illustrations, the Christmas saint had been variously illustrated wearing blue, yellow, green, or red…. After the soft drink ads, Santa would forever more be a huge, fat, relentlessly happy man with broad belt and black hip boots-and he would wear Coca-Cola red …. While Coca-Cola has had a subtle, pervasive influence on our culture, it has directly shaped the way we think of Santa.”

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