Today is the shortest day of the year. It has been classed as a pre-Christian festival, the Feast of Juul, and was observed mainly in Scandinavia but also in other Germanic cultures. Fires would be lit to symbolise the heat and light of the returning sun and a Yule log was gathered and burnt in the hearth as a tribute the Norse god Thor. Bonfires would be lit in the fields, and crops and trees were “wassailed” with toasts of spiced cider. It also has connections to Celtic paganism.