Monday, December 15, 2008

Palmer Lake's Annual Yule Log Hunt

Yesterday our town of Palmer Lake held the 75th annual Yule Log hunt and ceremony. This celebration combines ancient traditions of the changing seasons and winter solstice with the more modern christian aspects of Christmas. Basically, the way it works is a freshly cut 12 foot pine log is taken out in the woods and hidden in the snow earlier in the week. All the participants meet at town hall and don red or green capes. Then, the Trail Leader and Log Cutter lead the participants across the stage in front of the fire place and outside while a bagpiper plays.

Everyone then tromps off through the snow till the leaders of the hunt stop and point out a more specific area to search. This year it was in the creek bottom area of Glen Park, very close to our house.
It was 2 degrees (yes, 2) and gently snowing but it actually made for a really nice afternoon and there was no wind so it wasn't bad at all.

Our friends Harsha and Scheri, and their children Miles and Ella joined us for the hunt.

After about 45 minutes of no luck, the Hunt Leaders narrowed down the search area further and a father and his 2 young daughters finally found the log. How hard can it be to find a 12 foot log with a red ribbon? Well a lot harder than I thought, especially when it turned out the log was in the creek. After pulling the log up out of the creek, we tied two long ropes to the log and then everyone got ready to pull the log back to town hall. All the kids got to take a turn riding the log as it was pulled in the snow back home.

Back at town hall, a small group of children led the audience in carols and then the the kindling log (the last part of last year's yule log) was brought in to start the fire.

Then, the first part of this year's log was brought in and put on the fire, which was supposed to burn till sundown.

Finally, the finders of the log were served the first cups of Wassail. The rest of us hunters then got to go up on stage to get our Wassail, which was nice and hot. Overall, a really neat event and a great reason to get out and play in the snow.


WynnMan said...

great images Paul, looked like a lot of fun. Yes and it did not help the sunmart course that the Hurricane came through a few months earlier and added more silt to an already silty course. oh well.

Anonymous said...

Now I am really homesick.
That was one of my favorite memories from when we lived in Palmer Lake.
Our daughter was a cup and ladle girls one year.
It truly was "a privilege" to be there.

Thanks for the story and pics.