May 28, 2011

Yulefest in the Blue Mountains

Yulefest is a winter festival originally celebrated by the Germanic people as long ago as the 4th century AD. It has a colourful history initially being a pagan festival and later equated into the Christian Festival of Christmas. Traditions associated with the celebration of Yulefest include feasting, carolling and being with loved ones.

Similarly the origin of Yulefest in the Blue Mountains Lithgow and Oberon region has a colourful history and the traditions of feasting, caroling and being with loved ones continue to be celebrated each year across the cooler months in the region.

The Blue Mountains Lithgow and Oberon areas can thank the Irish for Yulefest, a festival concept that originated in the region some 30 years ago.

Back in 1980, a small group of Irish visitors were enjoying the crisp, clear winter climate and as they relaxed in front of a roaring log fire they commented on how the conditions and the atmosphere reminded them of their Christmas celebrations back home.

A savvy local hotel operator offered to re-create for his Irish guests, a similar festive atmosphere and meal, to make them feel even more at home.

And so preparations began, decorations were hung, the Christmas tree was brought out from storage and trimmed and a scrumptious menu was planned. Word began to spread around the region and the requests to attend were many.

Today, the tradition is known as Yulefest and it is one of the region’s most popular events. People revel in the atmosphere, traditions and trimmings of this Winter festival.

Many hotels, restaurants, motor inns and guest houses in the Blue Mountains, Lithgow and Oberon region offer a Yulefest celebration ranging from the traditional dinner of turkey and plum puddings to spatchcock and Crème Anglais, to special accommodation packages for all the family with entertainment encompassing carol singers, pipe and even visits from the jolly fellow dressed in red.

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