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Yule

Yule was the Northern Mannish name of the midwinter festival, observed around the Westlands. The days around Yule were the Yule-tide.

In the Shire Calendar, Yule referred to two days (the last of the previous and the first of the new year). Due to a peculiarity of the Calendar, the 2 Yuledays were "between" and outside the formal months of Foreyule and Afteryule. They always fell on the same days of the week: the last day of the year, 1 Yule, was always a Highday (Friday), while the first day of the following year, 2 Yule, was always a Sterday (Saturday).[1][note 1]

Around them, the six-day festival of Yuletide was held, running from 29 Foreyule through 2 Afteryule.[2]

[edit] Etymology

"Very best wishes for Yule - J. R. R. Tolkien"
― Tolkien to Richard Jeffery[3]

Yule represents a "translation" of a Hobbitish word, but the word itself doesn't occur in Westron.[4]

However it's possible that it derives from a form of Northern Mannish and later used in Rohirric. Since Gondorians of the Third Age were in part Northmen, the word was recognisable as a 'northern name' for the midwinter festival.[4]

A Quenya word for "Yule and the beginning of Sun's return" was Amanar.[5]

In Gnomish, one of Tolkien's early conceptions of an Elven language, the word for "Yule(night), i.e. Log-night" is durufui. Tanfui means "Yule night".[6]

Notes

  1. On a modern calendar, they fell approximately on 21 and 22 December.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix D, "The Shire Calendar"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix D, "The Calendars"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 347, (dated 17 December 1972)
  4. 4.0 4.1 J.R.R. Tolkien, "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (eds), The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion, p. 781
  5. Letter to Jonathan Hepworth (referenced here)
  6. J.R.R. Tolkien, "I-Lam na-Ngoldathon: The Grammar and Lexicon of the Gnomish Tongue", in Parma Eldalamberon XI (edited by Christopher Gilson, Arden R. Smith, and Patrick H. Wynne), pp. 31, 69