Yule log or a lost firewood tradition
Yule Log– the U-TUBE tradition of modern televised burning of the log is not what really what this Christmas tradition signifies!
Anyone who has experienced a campfire’s creature warmth and comfort and ancestral mesmerizing fire dance know what U-TUBE VIDEO lacks in “feel” in human nature.
Watching a wood stove fire is more entertaining and recreational than watching a natural gas pilot light or an electrical panel heating unit.
However, some MAD (modern & demented), myopic, liner-thinking scientists want to ban wood heat as it is a potential source of air pollution; and they compare it to the current effort to ban smoking tobacco; as wood smoke can be as bad as second hand smoke in an air-tight & enclosed room?
PURE SCIENCE WITHOUT HUMAN COMPASSION & WISDOM IS MUCH WORSE THAN NO SCIENCE AT ALL!
Wood Stoves Under Fire As Health Risk
By Deborah Schoch on June 16, 2010
California is famous for its aggressive campaigns targeting high-emission cars, diesel-burning trucks, second-hand smoke and now greenhouse gases.
But it lags behind some other states when it comes to a statewide approach to combat air pollution caused by smoke from wood-burning stoves and fireplaces.
Scores of scientific studies have concluded that tiny particles in wood smoke can threaten human health, worsening breathing problems, speeding up heart rate, provoking blood clots and even causing heart attacks and strokes. The smoke also contains chemicals known to cause cancer.
“I’m convinced that it causes potentially serious health effects in some people, particularly asthmatics,” said Dr. Michael Lipsett, chief of the environmental health investigations branch at the state Department of Public Health.
Elsewhere in the West, some states and regions began regulating wood smoke decades ago:
** Oregon led the nation in the early 1980s with its stove certification program, a precursor to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s national program. Its legislature recently passed a law requiring that non-certified wood stoves be removed from homes when they are sold…….
However, Chico (CAL) physician James Wood can tell from the acrid smell in the examining room if a child’s family heats with wood. If the child suffers from asthma, Wood suggests the parents buy a cleaner stove, but many low-income families cannot afford one.
“It would be like telling them, if they had an old car, that they had to trade up to a Cadillac,” Wood said.
Christian Science Monitor 12-13-2010 – Ron Scherer, Staff writer
Home heating 101: six cold facts on staying warm this winter :
Winter weather has arrived. Blizzards in Minneapolis, subfreezing temperatures in Buffalo, N.Y., and cold weather spreading into places like Atlanta. With the rush of arctic-type conditions, how much will it cost this winter to stay warm? Here are six cold facts on staying warm.
“Almost 90 percent of the nation’s households use natural gas or electricity. The outlook for most of those homeowners is good, since prices are either the same as last year or lower.”
“In the case of natural gas and electricity, it’s a combination of lower demand on the industrial side because of the economy and higher supplies because of the recent increase in gas coming from shale formations,” says Paul Flemming, director of power at Energy Security Analysis Inc. (ESAI), in Wakefield, Mass. “The inventory of natural gas is as much as we have ever had.”
However, if you heat with oil, get ready for fuel-bill sticker shock. Prices are expected to average $3.18 a gallon, resulting in an increase in the average home heating bill of $269, according to the ESIA. Behind the higher prices: those shipments to Europe and higher crude oil prices, above $90 a barrel, the highest since 2008.
Urbanites need more easily mass consumption energy coming from engineeringly efficient pipes; but the lack of a quality human experience is obvious.
Maybe, Renewable forest wood is more labor intensive & more practical for ruralites.
FIRST, wood is or can be a very sustainable and renewable, warm & safe “green energy” for cold northern climates. The author has seen electrical brown-outs during winter that froze people without wood stove heat backup.
In southern California, a YULE LOG video on U-TUBE sadly might suffice; as keeping a warm Christmas wood fire is strictly entertaining and recreational.
YET, let’s examine the ancestral traditions surrounding a “YULE LOG”; as explained on Wikipedia:
The Yule log was originally an entire tree that was carefully chosen and brought into the house with great ceremony with the purpose being to provide maximum warmth and endurance. In some European traditions, the largest end of the log would be placed into the fire hearth while the rest of the tree stuck out into the room. While references are anecdotal, it seems to be a tradition that morphed into early European Christian tradition of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Within 20th century Europe and North America was predominantly a reference to the burning of the largest log possible at or around Christmas.
In Croatia, Christmas Eve is called Badnjak (Christmas Eve Day: Badnji dan, Christmas Eve night: Badnja večer), after the traditional log that is cut on Christmas Eve and lit in the hearth of the home in the evening. In villages, the father of the family cuts down a piece of wood from a tree at dawn, reciting the Lord’s Prayer and making the sign of the cross, invoking God to bless the family. In the cities, logs are usually bought instead of cut down. The log is brought to the home, but left inside until the evening, where it is brought in and placed in the hearth or fireplace. Holy water is then poured on the log, usually accompanied by the Apostle’s Creed. It is then lit and the father praises Jesus and welcomes Christmas Eve.
The badnjak is a central feature in the traditional Serbian Christmas celebration. It is the log that a family solemnly brings into the house and places on the fire in the evening of Christmas Eve. The tree used for the badnjak, preferably a young and strait oak, is ceremoniously felled in the early morning of Christmas Eve. The burning of the log is accompanied by prayers to God so that the coming year may bring much happiness, love, luck, riches, and food. It would burn on through Christmas Day, whether rekindled or kept burning from the Eve. The first person to visit the family on that day should strike the burning badnjak with a poker or a branch to make sparks fly from it, at the same time uttering a wish that the happiness, prosperity, health, and joy of the family be as abundant as the sparks. The ideal environment to fully carry out these customs is the traditional multi-generation country household. Since most Serbs today live in towns and cities, the badnjak is symbolically represented by several leaved oak twigs that can be bought at marketplaces or received in churches.
In Bulgaria, it is an important part of Christmas Eve preparations. Traditionally а young man of the family was sent dressed in his best clothes to cut down an oak, elm, or pear tree. That tree is used as the Budnik …..
After that a hole is bored in one end of the badnik and filled with Chrism made of wine, cooking oil, and incense. The hole is plugged, and that end of the log is wrapped with a white linen cloth before the badnik is festively burned on the hearth. The log is considered to possess special healing powers and the ritual includes songs and uttering of wishes as the log is lit much like the Serbian ritual described above. The log has to burn all night and it is believed that its warmth and light symbolize the coming of Christ as well as providing a warm welcome to Virgin Mary and the family’s ancestors who are believed to be guests at the table according to traditions in some regions. Sometimes the fire is put off using wine in the morning. Remains of the log are cherished and sometimes used to make personal crosses, also to make a plough and ashes are simply spread over a field or vineyard to induce better yields.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND MAKE IT A WONDER-FULL NEW YEAR!
OTHER QUOTES TO CONSIDER:
The mystery of language was revealed to me. I knew then that ‘W-A-T-E-R’ meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, joy, set it free. ~Helen Keller, The Story of My Life
A timid person is frightened before a danger, a coward during the time, and a courageous person afterward.
– Jean Paul Richter
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