Odinia International & Club Nordic Hawaii’s Jul Fest will be held on Dec. 20 at 5:30 in Volcano. There will be Norse carols, Odinist treats such as Mjolnir and Valkyrie cookies, and a Jul log lighting ceremony.
The 12 Nights of the Jul Festival begin on Madrenacht, the longest night of the year, the night before the Winter Solstice Sun begins to increase. This ancient custom honors the Disir as well as the coming rebirth of the Sun Goddess Sunna, and of Baldr, whose birth brings light into the world.
This was a time of festivity, feasting and gift giving and of the burning of the giant Yule Log. Ancient druids cut and hung mistletoe and holly and suspended apples on the sacred Yule Tree, which symbolizes Yggdrasil, in anticipation of the return of the Sun, and also as talisman against evil.
Saturnalia, the Roman Winter Solstice Feast, also involved the giving of gifts, worshiping the rebirth of the Sun God, and hanging greens. Ancient Egyptians cut date palm leaves symbolizing rebirth at this time. The Jul festival lasts until approximately the 6th of January, known in Spain as “Dia de los Tres Reyes,” or “3 King’s Day.”