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Puppy hiatus! Reruns daily; new comics restart 3 December 2018
<   No. 1796   2007-12-27   >

Comic #1796

1 Lambert: You know, around this time of year I always find myself thinking of my Uncle Bilbert, who hosts my family's traditional mid-winter feast.
2 Alvissa: Mid-winter feast?
3 Lambert: Yes. Every year, on the night of the winter solstice, my people have a huge feast and exchange little presents.
4 Alvissa: Every year? Do you mean...
4 Lambert: Yes, it's Hobbit-Yule.

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Yule is originally a pagan winter festival, held roughly around the winter solstice. The word and the occasion have since migrated around a bit in date and meaning, until today where Yule is most commonly either conflated with Christmas, or celebrated separately on the night of the winter solstice.

Interestingly, here in Australia, with the end of the year occurring in summer, we've actually moved Yule to the middle of winter - in June - while keeping Christmas in sweltering hot December. Nobody ever said these things had to make sense.

Oh, and hello to Thomas Fuglseth, who I hope appreciates this pun. ;-)


2018-08-13 Rerun commentary: Here in Australia we also have Christmas in July, which is a thing that some places promote. Most people pay it no heed whatsoever, but if you want to it's not difficult to find a restaurant or hotel doing some sort of "Christmas in July" special, often a Christmas-like roast dinner with all the fixings, and some form of snowy themed decorations.

I've never really thought of Christmas in July as having any particular date associated with it. It's something that places will do pretty much throughout the entire month of July. But a few weeks ago, on 25 July, I noticed the radio station I listen to playing Christmas carols, and claiming that 25 July was "Christmas in July". I suppose the 25th makes sense in one way, but then late July doesn't really make all that much sense from a symmetry point of view as it's 5 months away from Christmas, not 6 months (or half a year) away.

I wonder what the first colonists of Mars or the Moon will do with seasonal festivities like Yule.

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