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Photo of youth choir performing in costume
Lumpkin Baptist Church Youth Choir perform at Yule Log Ceremony December 4, 1999

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Westville Yule Log Ceremony
A Local Legacy

Ever wondered what a Southern country village was like in the 1800s? If you were to visit Westville Village in Georgia, you would get a good idea. Called a "living history museum," Westville Village is a town completely restored to what it was like in 1850 -- with authentic pre-Civil War-era buildings. The entire town is a museum of what life was like in the mid-19th century.

Today, visitors to Westville can observe craftspeople practicing their trades, such as blacksmithing, pottery, basket-making, spinning, weaving, farming, fireplace cooking, candle-making and lye soap-making.

The village also revives old holiday traditions. At Christmastime one of the celebrations is a Yule Log ceremony. On Christmas Eve a large, freshly cut log is decorated and brought to a fireplace. Prayers are then recited while the log is sprinkled with oil, salt, and special wine and then lit. It was believed that the remains of the burned log would protect the house from lightning and evil powers. This custom dates back to the 12th century and was known in most European countries before it became popular in the U.S.

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