Yule Log Celebration at the Nathaniel Porter Inn, 2000
Yule Log Nights at the Nathaniel Porter Inn retain the essence of the traditions brought from Europe more than 300 years ago, with the warmth of candlelight, fires on the hearth, fine food and wassail bowl, caroling and the Yule Log carried in to the music of colonial fifes and drums.
The evening begins shortly after 6:00 PM when arriving guests are greeted by a troop of Colonial Militiamen outfitted in the authentic scarlet and gold uniforms of 1774.
The Inn is festively decorated and the wassail bowl is steaming as guests prepare to enjoy a full evening of Christmas as it “used to be.”
Fifers and drummers play intermittently throughout the evening and toasts are proposed with the traditional wassail.
Guests experience the congeniality and gracious charm of 200 years ago as they relax with friends and family before one of six separate fireplaces.
Mid-evening the Yule Log, be-decked with holly and ivy, is brought into the Inn by the Militiamen who are preceded by fifers and drummers playing the ancient carols and followed by the waitresses who add their voices to the caroling. The procession is then joined in turn by all the guests who follow as the festive log is placed in the largest fireplace, and holly is thrown by each guest into the blazing fire to re-create the time honored tradition of “burning your troubles of the past and preventing their house from burning down in the future.”
Everyone joins in the caroling which is followed by a most delectable choice of Beef Wellington- the King of Beef – or a seafood medley of lobster, shrimp and scallops. It’s a most delicious selection supplemented by all the traditional fixing that go with this wondrous time of year!
But the 12 Days of Christmas do not end with the 25th of December. They actually end with “Twelfth Night” when a party is in order to celebrate the conclusion of this very significant celebration which occurs 12 days after Christmas Day..
This unique ceremony incorporates the Yule Log Ceremony along with re-creating the Medieval tradition when the Lord of the Manor ordered his chef to prepare the “Cake of Kings” -a cake large enough for everyone on the Manor, and to drop a nut into the batter. The recipient of the nut is appointed the “:Lord of Misrule” along with a Court of Lords and Ladies. Crowns, Scepters and Proclamations are bestowed upon the Lords and Ladies to honor their reign and to complete the festivities. This is, indeed, a night of fun and merriment.