The YULE LOG
Happy Winter Solstice!
The tradition of the yule log has its origins in pre-Christian times, during which Scandinavian Norsemen and Druids would burn massive logs during their winter solstice festivities. These primitive yule logs were made to burn day and night - protecting Northerners from the imminent frost and darkness and reminding them of a season where light and warmth were abundant. During the Medieval Ages, the yule log was burnt for the entirety of Christmastide. Once the yule log died, some of the remaining charred wood was collected in order to light the next year's log.
DISCLAIMER: Cutting a yule log with an electric chainsaw is very dangerous and should only be attempted by adults 18 or over with prior experience.
A large wooden log (I used coastal oak)
Electric chain saw
Use an electric chainsaw to make cuts along the log's top edge (see picture on left).
The cuts depth should cover however much of the log you want to burn.
The yule log shown on the left is a Swedish fire log. Different peoples used different types of yule cuts. Yule logs may be burned horizontally or vertically.
This year, a 100 year-old Coastal Oak tree fell over at my parents' house, so there were many massive logs to choose from. I found the largest piece of wood I could carry and decided to make our own Swedish yule log. Emma loved looking at the dancing flames. The log turned out to create a long-lasting and surprisingly hot fire. In order for the yule log to fit into our hearth, we had to place it horizontally.