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The word Yule may come from the Anglo-Saxon word geol (feast), applied to December (geola, feast month).
Or it may come from a Norse-Saxon word meaning wheel, referring to the seasonal cycles of the sun.
Or it could have come from the Scandinavian Jule (Jul), who was the god of sex and fertility.
("Tide" as in "yuletide" may have come from an Old English word meaning time, occasion or season.) Midwinter sun festivals were celebrated in ancient Britain & Scandinavia.
The Spring Equinox marks the beginning of Spring, and for the ancient Mesopotamians was the beginning of their new year festival.
The Mesopotamians believed that their god Marduk did battle with monsters of chaos at the end of the year.
The Greek god Dionysus was also a god of fertility whose resurrection was celebrated in the Spring.
In the ancient Mediterranean Osiris-Dionysus mystery religions celebrated life, death and rebirth through secret rites involving sacramental wine.
Considering that the austerity and bleakness of Winter (in contrast to the relative abundance and warmth of Summer) would be so impactful upon the lives of primitive peoples living in temperate climates these festival times — and even Sun-worship — should come as no surprise.The constellation (Zodiac sign) visible at dawn on the day of the Spring Equinox has been regarded as of special significance (currently changing from Pisces to Aquarius due to the 26,000 year precession of the Earth — the advent of "the Age of Aquarius").The chief holiday for the ancient Hebrews was usually celebrated at the first full moon after the Spring Equinox.In mid-autumn Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs celebrate Diwali, the "festival of lights" signifying the victory of light over darkness (and of knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair).The Chinese Dongzhi ("extreme of winter") Festival is viewed within the Yang and Yin philosophy as a time of returning of positive energy associated with lengthening daylight hours.