Yule

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Yuletide by Lída Holubová

Yule was the Northern Mannish name of the midwinter festival, observed around the Westlands. The days around Yule were the Yule-tide.

In the Shire Calendar, Yule referred to two days (the last of the previous and the first of the new year). Due to a peculiarity of the Calendar, the 2 Yuledays were "between" and outside the formal months of Foreyule and Afteryule. They always fell on the same days of the week: the last day of the year, 1 Yule, was always a Highday (Friday), while the first day of the following year, 2 Yule, was always a Sterday (Saturday).[1][note 1]

Around them, the six-day festival of Yuletide was held, running from 29 Foreyule through 2 Afteryule.[2]

Etymology[edit]

"Very best wishes for Yule - J. R. R. Tolkien"
― Tolkien to Richard Jeffery in Letter 347, (dated 17 December 1972)

Yule represents a "translation" of a Hobbitish word, but the word itself doesn't occur in Westron.[3]

However it's possible that it derives from a form of Northern Mannish and later used in Rohirric. Since Gondorians of the Third Age were in part Northmen, the word was recognisable as a 'northern name' for the midwinter festival.[3]

A Quenya word for "Yule and the beginning of Sun's return" was Amanar.[4]

Other versions of the legendarium[edit]

Main article: Turuhalmë

In Gnomish, one of Tolkien's early conceptions of an Elven language, the word for "Yule(night), i.e. Log-night" is durufui. Tanfui means "Yule night".[5]

Notes

  1. On a modern calendar, they fell approximately on 21 and 22 December.

References