Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Yuleday this friday!

Rather than the obligatory "history of beer" post, which origins can be simultaneously traced back to the Sumarians/Babylonians (Iraq/Iran), Romans, Egyptians, Teutons (Germans), etc. etc. etc., in a very cool 12 monkeys effect I refer to as "God's universal love of all peoples," lets talk celebrations.

The "Alulu" tablet - a Sumerian recipe for "best" beer circa 2050 B.C. (wiki)

Yule Tide is a festival of the winter solstice, of peoples afraid the sun was dying, before witnessing the miracle of its rebirth. It has German, western European, and Scandinavian roots, and though of course those aren't the only countries to celebrate the solstice, they are likely the original countries to do it with lots and lots of beer. In one account of a feast in Valhalla (to the Nords what Olympus was to the Greeks):

An abundance of heavenly mead made from goats' milk and honey was provided for the feasts and on occasions ale, too, was served.

Toasts were usually drunk in honor of Bragi, god of poetry, eloquence, and song. The gods pledged themselves to perform remarkable deeds of courage and valor as they tossed off horn after horn of mead and ale. Each time their mighty valor grew until there was no limit set to their attainments.

Sounds kinda like a drunken festivus, no? Which really is all our Yule celebration aims to be: a drunken pledge "to perform remarkable deeds of courage and valor," usually in the form of tossing off horn after horn of mead and ale. Speaking of which, i need a drinking horn. Any advice on where to find? This has gone off topic but I think we can all agree that'd be preeetty cool.