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“This was the day which was shortest, and this is the night which is longest. But the stars shine upon us, and the year turns now. The darkness passes, and the light shall return.”


- A Pale Light Lingering
"We honor the Trickster [...]. We honor the Hunter [...]. And we honor the Lord', he who with his justice and wisdom brings peace and order to both hearth and land. Give us wisdom and discernment, that we might deal straightly with our neighbors and they with us, that all might flourish.
- Lossarnach Yule


A solstice celebration in Gondor, also called Mettarë, and followed by yestarë.

Regional variationsEdit

The basic ceremony calls for the extinguishing of all light in the hall (or camp) after sunset, a moment of silence, and then the recitation of the formula first listed, followed by the lighting of first one candle and then others before opening a long feast. Dol Amroth and Minas Tirith appear to keep to this formula carefully.

In Emyn Arnen, after the Ring War, the ceremony altered slightly. From Rohan, an emphasis is placed upon the importance of the women of the household, and the formula is said by the lady of the house (and, later, the eldest daughter after her fourteenth birthday). The words said as the first candle was lighted also changed, with an addition that Faramir made during the Ring War. The full formula in Ithilien runs:

“This was the day which was shortest, and this is the night which is longest. But the stars shine upon us, and the year turns now. The darkness passes, and the light shall return. This is where the light begins. With us, here, in Ithilien.”

As the second candle is lit, a hymn to Elbereth is begun. These changes were intended to reflect the dual cultural heritage of Ithilien's first family (Gondor and Rohan), and Ithilien's special status as the front line towards the end of the Ring War. (See Mothers' Night and A Pale Light Lingering.)

Pre-Númenorean Lossarnach custom combines the first recitation with a second, made by the oldest man in attendance. He gives thanks to the "old ones": the Trickster, the Hunter, and the Lord, to each of whom is reserved a loaf of bread. Each loaf is given to the newly relit fire as each figure is thanked for those virtues that Lossarnach's people hope will be set in their service over the coming year.

ReferencesEdit

A Pale Light Lingering

The Best Gift of All

Dol Amroth Yule

Lossarnach Yule

Mothers' Night

Reconciliation