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  Yule - The Midwinter Festival

Byanna's Sunday and the skull

Perhaps one of the intriguing customs surrounding Yule took place on the day known as Byanna's Sunday.

This was the name given to the Sunday immediately preceding Yule. It was marked by a special mea,l in which half a cow's head was boiled and eaten.

The fat was skimmed from the water and made into brose, while the animal's skull was carefully cleaned of all flesh and gristle.

A candle was then inserted into one of the vacant eye sockets and the skull carefully stowed away until it was required on Yule morning. It is unclear how widespread this custom was. It may be that it was found only in a small area to the far north of Shetland.

Yule Eve

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