December 9th, 2018

YULE, YIL, YALDA - and the eternal struggle of the DRAGON-SERPENT and the SUN

The Romans celebrated their Saturnalia festivities from 17 December and until the winter solstice day - which was then falling exactly on 25 December, and had a name of Dies Natalis Solis Invicti, 'the birthday of the invincible Sun'.

In the IVth century AD Sol Invictus was renamed into the Christian holiday of Christmas - the day of the birth of CHRIST (effectively, of 'the Sun' - as the CROSS in a circle was an old pagan pre-Christain symbol of the Sun): see .

As a result of a mistake made by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582, the celebration of Christmas is now 3 days behind the actual day of the winter solstice (and the Orthodox Christmas, celebrated on 7 January, is 16 days behind).

The French, the British, the Germans, the Scandinavians and the Baltic Finns call Christmas with the following word that remains from pagan times: Yule (Eng.), Jul, Julen (Sw., Dan., Norw.), Jól (Icelandic), Joulu (Finnish, Izhorian), Jõulu(d) (Estonian, Votic) - allegedly considered to be a word 'of unknown origin': .

Noteworthy, however, is that the followers of the Zoroastrian (Persian, Iranian) tradition use the same name when celebrating the winter solstice: they call the longest and darkest night of the year as Shab-e Yalda, or Shab-e Chelleh (Çillə). In Zoroastrian tradition it is considered to be a particularly inauspicious night when the evil forces of Ahriman are imagined to be at their peak. One is advised to stay awake most of the night, to avoid any misfortune. People gather in safe groups of friends and relatives, and share their last remaining fruits of the past summer. The following day (the first day of Dae month) is a holiday. The word Yalda supposedly means 'the Birth' or 'to give birth': .

It is further comparable to:
[yuladu] يولد (Arab.), [yalad] יָלַד (Hebrew) - to give birth;
[hуlad] הוּלַד (Hebrew) - was born;
[yalud] יָלוּד (Hebrew) - newborn;
[eled; yaldo] יַלדו ; יֶלֶד (Hebrew) - a boy, a child
– i.e. the infant Sun, which is 'born' each year at winter solstice).
Source: .

It is obvious that the Birth of the new Sun is exactly what the name of the holiday, the Yule, reflects.

The related words in other languages include:

ѣлда, елда [yelda] (Rus.) - the reproductive male organ.

Лада, Леда / Lada, Leda (Slavic) - the God's Mother, Our Lady (Eng.);
[ləda] לֵידָה (Hebrew) – childbirth, parturition.

[mouled, moulud] (Pers.) - birth; newborn;
молодой, mlad (Slavic) - young.

плод [plod] (Rus.) - a fruit, an offspring.
ялта, ялат, елат [yalta, yalat, elat] (Ingush) - grain:
child (Eng.).

кылды(ны) [kõldõ(nõ)] (Udmurt) - to be born, to appear;
кылдыты(ны) [kõldõtõ(nõ)] (Udmurt) - to give birth to, to create;
Kõldõs(in) (Udmurt, Komi), калтась(эква) [kaltas'(ekva)] (Khanty) - the Creator God(Goddess), the Forefather (the Foremother) of Nature.

[gal] (Sumer.) - to be, exist;
ol(mak) (Turk.), ol(maq) (Azeri.), bo'l(moq) (Uzbek), болуы [boluõ] (Kazakh) - to be, to live, to be born;
ole(da) (Est.), olla (Est., Fin., Izhor., Karel.), õlla (Votic), vȱlda (Livonian), olda (Karel.), ouda (Veps.), uľems (Erzia), uľǝms (Moksha), ulaš (Mari), ol-, ɔ̄l- (Khanty, Mansi) - to be, to exist, to possess;
ela(da) (Est.), elää (Fin., Votic), ellää (Izhorian), eliä (Karel.), eľädä (Chudi, Veps.), eallit (Saami), ilaš (Mari), uli̮ni̮ (Udmurt), ovni̮ (Komi), él(ni) (Hung.), ńile (Nganasan), ela- (Sekulp.), je’llõ (Livonian), jiľe (Nenets.) - to live, to be;
ďili, ďž́ili (Kamassian), elävä (Fin.) - alive, living;
jiləp (Khanty) - new, young;
йель [yel'] (Saami), elu (Est.), olan (Komi) - life, essence;
yıl (Turk.), il, ildir (Azeri), yil (Uzbek), ел [yel] (Tatar), жыл [zhyl] (Kaz., Kyrgyz), сол [sol] (Tadzhyk) - a year (the semantics of a life cycle);
elo (Tagalog in Philippines) - life.

There is also an apparent connection of all of the above words with the Sun and Sunlight:

Hλιος, Helios (Gr.) - the Sun; the Sun God;
Gela, Gal'Erd - the Sun God in Vainakh (Ingushian) pagan tradition in the Caucasus;
hele, heleda (Est.), heleä (Fin.), õ’ldzi (Livonian), eliä (Votic), helliiä (Izhor.), heľei (Karel.), heleäd (Chudi), heled (Veps.) - 1) light, bright; 2) lively, sonorous;
[elel] (Maya) - to burn;
al [ал] (Turk., Azeri, Tatar, etc.) - scarlet, bright red, crimson; alev (Turk., Crimean Tatar), alov (Azeri), ялын [yalyn] (Kumyk) - a flame, fire; алау [alau] (Kaz.) - a bonfire;
аьл [a'l] (arch. Ingush.) - the Sun;
ал [al] (Ingush., Chechen) - a fire; ала [ala] (Ingush.) - a flame; аълан [a'lan] (Ingush.) - to burn;
ælan (arch. Eng.) - to burn;
eld (arch. Sw.), ild (arch. Norw., arch. Dan.), eldur (Icelandic, Faroese), aile (Manx) - a fire, flame, bonfire; ilde (Norw.) - to heat, to keep fire;
ἀλέα [alea] (arch. Gr.) - the heat; ἀλεεινός (arch. Gr.) - warm, heated (by the Sun);
алый [aly] (Rus.) - scarlet, bright red, crimson.

sole (Ital.), sol (Latin, Sp.), soleil (Fr.), sol, solen (Sw., Dan., Norw.), sól, sólin (Icelandic), солнце [solnce] (Rus.) - the Sun;
soləm, suləm (Chuvash), жалын [zhalyn] (Kazakh) - a flame, fire;
[su.lum, su.lim] (Sumerian) - a radiation, splendor.


The Slavic old name for Christmas festivities (celebrated over 12 days, from Christmas to Epiphany) was Коляда, Колѧда, Kolyada, Kolianda, for which the Slavists (Max Vasmer) suggested a 'borrowing' from Latin Calendae, the Greco-Roman holiday celebrated on 5 January, i.e. at Epiphany, 12 days after Dies Natalis Solis Invicti - and from which we have inherited the word calendar.

Indo-Germanists further suggest a connection of Calendae to a hypothetical 'PIE' verb *kele- ('to shout, to yell'): ; .

It is obvious that the Slavic Kolѧda and Roman Calendae are one and the same name for the same winter solstice celebrations. Yet, it is naive to associate the etymology with mere 'shouting' at festivities, or to a public 'announcement' of the beginning of a new month / new year. According to a number of independent researchers, the custom has a deep pagan origin, and the etymology is to be re-studied:Коляда .

Коляда, Колѧда, Kolyada, Kolianda / Calendae may well be connected to all or one of the following:

1) The Germanic Yule, the Estonian Jõulu(d), the Persian Yalda - Christmas - reviewed above.

2) The Slavic коло, kolo - a wheel, a circle, the Sun circle, as well as sol, solis (Latin) - the Sun - analyzed above.

3) The Russian колода, koloda - a log - a synonym of the Southern Slavic бадняк, badnyak - the Christmas block, burnt over 12 nights after Christmas.

4) The Russian холод, kholod, Eng. cold - and a huge semantic field around these words, reviewed below. Of notice is the Bulgarian name of Santa Claus - Дядо Коледа, Dyado Koleda - effectively, Father Frost.


One of the oldest traditions in Europe is a public display of a CHRISTMAS TREE. Already in the period of the Roman Saturnalia, pagan temples were decorated with cut spruce trees.

It is documented that a cut fir-tree was exhibited at Christmas in the central square in Reval (Tallinn) already in year 1441 (in Riga - in 1510). Members of the Brotherhood of Blackheads (consisting of Livonian merchants and ship owners) made circle dances around the fir-tree on 25 December, and then burned it. Inside homes, spruce trees were originally hung upside down, using ceiling hooks, imitating a public execution of the spruce tree:

However, the tradition is more ancient than the Middle Ages, and more ancient than the period of the Roman Empire. To understand this tradition, one needs to go back by 4,500 - 5,000 years ago, to the times when the climate was warmer, life was at its full speed in the northern latitudes, and when, instead of the today's Pole Star, the constellation of Dragon* was presiding over the North Pole in the winter time, eating the Sun, piece by piece, leaving nothing from it by December.

At the time of the winter solstice, a reversal was taking place, the Sun was beginning to defeat the Dragon [constellation].

It is this momentum that is celebrated: the birth of the new Sun (its resurrection), and the overthrow of the Dragon-Serpent.

The cut FIR-TREE (Rus.: ёлка [yolka]) is obviously one of the allegoric symbols of the Dragon-Serpent - deriving from a semantic field which includes:

ѥла [ijela] (Church Slavic), egle (Lithuanian, Latvian) - a spruce, a fir-tree;
jodła (Polish), jedle (Czech) - a fir-tree.

игла [igla] (Rus.) - a needle;
йыл [yil] (Komi) - a peak, top, sharp point.

jõletis (Est.) - a monster; jõle, jõleda (Est.), jolea (Old Fin.), jolakka (Karel.) - scary, terrible, monstrous, mean, vile, dirty, foul, nasty; jäle, jäleda (Est.) - nasty, disgusting, wild, vile, ugly, monstrous, scary; jäledus (Est.) - filthiness; jälejõud (Est.) - monstrous power.

Compare also with words starting with n-:
nõeluss (Est.) - a venomous snake, viper;
nõela(ma) (Est.) - to sting;
nõel, gen. nõela (Est.) neula (Fin.), nõ’ggõl(z) (Livonian), nigla (Votic), neegla (Izhorian), nieglu (Karel.), ńegl (Vepssian) - a needle;
nool, noole, noolt (Est.), nuoli (Fin., Karel.), nooli (Izhor.), njuolla (Saami), nal (Erzia, Mokshan), nölö (Mari), ńe̮l (Udmurt), ńe̮v (Komi), ńoᴧ, ńal (Khanty), ńāl (Mansi), nyíl (Hung.), ńi (Nenets, Enets), ńī (Sekulpian), ńié (Khamassian), ńej, nej (Matorian) - an arrow;
nael (Est.), Nagel (Ger.) - a nail;
nål (Sw.), nulle (Fris.) - a needle, an idol.

nulg, gen. nulu, part. nulgu (Est.), nulyo (Mari) - a fir-tree.


In many cultures (from the Vainakhs in the Caucasus to Southern Slavs and Celts) there existed a tradition to burn a cut tree log, over 12 nights after winter solstice (or after Christmas).

The British call it Yule log / clog, or Christmas block.

Similar to the situation with thousands of English words, the British etymologists hurry to state that they do not know where the word log, clog, block come from: 'of unknown origin' .

If, however, one gains an understanding that the log burnt at the winter solstice symbolized the Snake-Dragon, the following comparisons become more than valid:

lohe (Est.), lәü, ләү (Tatar), лехь [lehi] (Ingush), благъо́ [blag'o] (Adyghe, Caucasus) – a Snake, a Dragon;
lohi (Hawaii) - slow; lōʻihi (Hawaii) - long.

Isn't it this what is pulled for burning during Yule celebrations?

Compare to lohv, lohvi (Est.) – a gut, a gut hose, a sleeve, etc.

Compare to: Loki — Scandinavian God of cunning and deception.

Compare also to Fin. Louhi — the mistress of Pohjola (North) in Kalevala, who first abducts the Sun and the Moon, and then, in fear of Ilmarinen (a blacksmith who plowed a field with snakes) releases the Sun and the Moon. The eternal struggle between the good and the evil.

Also the winged beast in the Scandinavian king Hrolfa Krakiis saga, defeated by Bjarki (Fin. Järki?), is very similar to Louhi:

Compare Lohe (Est.) – a Snake, a Dragon also to words clearly characterising it:

[lug] (Sumerian) - to weave, twist, curl, bend;
loch (Maya) - a curve, bend;
λοξός [loxos] (Gr.) - a curve, curved; λυγίζω [lugizo] (Gr.) - to bent, twist;
лука [luka] (Slavic), look (Est.), lūok (Livonian), lookka (Votic), luokka, luokki (Fin., Karel.), luokka (Izhorian), lùoks (Latvian) - an arc, arch, bow, bend.

Compare also to: lõhi, gen. lõhe (Est., Votic), lohi (Fin., Izhor., Karel., Chudi, Veps.), luossa (Saami), lax, lox (Old Eng., Old Icelandic), lahs (Old Ger.), losos (Czech, Slovak), lašiša, lаšаšа, lãšis (Lithuanian), lasis (Latvian), lasasso (Prussian) - salmon, literally a fish with a humpback; laks (Toсhar), lох (Maya), łóg (Apache) - any fish.
P.S. In Apache mythology łóg is also a very big fish that can eat a woman!

lohikäärme (Fin.) - a Dragon (käärme being snake, thus, literally, either 'a snake with humpback', or 'a fish-snake' - similar to yılanbalığı (Tur.) - eel, literally, 'snake-fish' - further reviewed below.

Compare also to words with the meaning of a wood log, clog, block itself:

[loh] (Arab.) – a board, block;
lõik, gen. lõigu, part. lõige (Est.) - a cut, piece, part, section, chunk, share; lõiga(ta), lõika(ma) (Est.), leikata (Fin.) - to cut, saw;
лыко, клок [lyko, klok] (Rus.) - a cut part;
luck (arch. Eng.) - a cut piece of meat;
[luch] (Maya) - to cut.


From Колѧда, Kolayada, Calendae (or, more correctly, from the колода, koloda - the sacred Christmas block burnt over 12 days) we now have word calendar with its 12 months.

It is logical to assume that Yule сlog - another name for Christmas block - may have given birth to the word clock.

Yet, the British etymologists think that clock is from ringing of bells, of an imitative origin: .

The duodecimal system (12/24 hours, 12 months, etc.) is thought to be related to the 12 1/3 moon phases in a year. Yet, there must be a direct connection to 12/24 fingers that the true shamans had (similar to how our decimal system relates to 10/20 fingers ordinary people possess). See .


The Southern Slavs call their Yule log a Бадняк, Badnyak.

According to V.N.Toporov, Badnyak symbolized the Serpent at the roots of the World Tree, and could get its name from the Indian snake Ahi Budhnya (Skt. अहिर्बुध्न्य 'Serpent of the Depths'- a character in Rigveda - which is mentioned together with Aja Ekapad, the 'one-legged goat'):
'The burning of Badnyak at the end of the year is equivalent to the defeat of the Serpent by fire; the Serpent being an embodiment of the Lower World, a harmful beginning; its defeat marks the beginning of the new seasonal cycle, and guarantees fertility.'
V.N. Toporov and V.V.Ivanov also compare the burning of Badnyak with the New Year rituals in Middle Eastern traditions, which also featured the image of the Serpent:Бадняк .

It is also relevant to compare Бадняк, Badnyak to the Ingush баднаки, badnaki - an epithet of the old year, especially of its last weeks, figuratively, the old year; literally, 'the running away' - especially considering that the tradition of burning of a log during the winter solstice was also present among the Vainakhs in the pre-Islamic period.

For the Vainakhs, the New Year also began on the first day after the winter solstice. Similar to the Slavic and the Finno-Ugric tradition during the 12 days of Коляда, Kolyada following Christmas, young people or teenagers dressed as mummers, in fur coats worn inside out, and in felt masks with horns or faces smeared with soot, walked along the Ingush and Chechen villages. Similar to the Iranian tradition of celebrating the Shabe-Yalda night, the Ingushs did not let children out of the houses on winter solstice night after sunset — they believed that evil spirits were especially dangerous at that time. To protect against the evil spirits, iron objects and spiky branches of rose hips were laid out in houses and barns. And, like the Southern Slavs and Celts, the Vainakhs' integral part of the New Year’s ritual was laying a long, uncut log into the hearth, and gradually burning it over 12 days and nights.

Compare Бадняк, Badnyak also to: баьде хьинар [ba'de h'inar] (Ingush) – the dark energy (an inflationary cosmology term); баьде хIама [ba'de h'ama] (Ingush) – the dark matter, dark halo, hidden mass (a substance of unknown nature, which is the main component that fills the Universe, which manifests itself only through gravitational interaction with ordinary matter).

See the allegedly 'unrelated' Persian BAD and English BAD, and the analysis of semantic field around them, including the Eng. butt and bottom: .


As mentioned, in Russian the log that is burnt may be also referred to as колода, koloda. And the latter has a one more meaning in the Northern dialects: a pack of snakes, moving as a ball.

Compare to:
koledus (Est.) - horror; koletis (Est.) - a monster; kollita(ma) (Est.) - to frighten;
kole, koleda, koletu (Est.), kõ’l (Livonian), kõla (Votic), kolea (Fin.), kolo, kolie (Karel.), goalus (Saami) - scary, gloomy, terrible, monstrous;
koll, kolli, k'olli[de, k'olli[sid (Est.) - a demon, an evil spirit; a scarecrow, bogy;
ki̮ľ (Udmurt) - an evil spirit causing diseases;
kuľ (Komi), kŏľ (Khanty) - evil water spirit;
χuľ, kuľ- (Mansi) - an evil spirit, a wood goblin;
kol, koldun (Erzia), kaldu (Mokshan) - evil spirit.


The Dragon-Serpent is also symbolized by Christmas eel, which was traditionally served at Christmas in Italy, as well as in Sweden:

eel (Eng.), æl (Old Eng.), iel (Frisian), ael (Old Dutch), aal (Dutch), Aal (Ger.), ål (Dan., Sw., Norw.), ál (Icel.) - allegedly with 'no certain cognates outside Germanic': .

Compare, however, further to:
χέλι [(h)elli] (Gr.) - eel;
ngjalë (Albanian) - eel;
ਜਾਲ [Jāla] (Panjabi), जळू [Jaḷū] (Marathi) – leech, bloodsucker;
yılan (Turk.), юлан [yulan] (Crimean Tatar), елан [yelan] (Tatar), ilan (Azeri), ilon (Uzbek), жылан [zhılan] (Kazakh) - a snake, a villain;
yılanbalığı (Turk.), Ilonbaliq (Uzb.), еланбалык [yelan-balık] (Tatar), жыланбалық [zhılan-balıkh] (Kaz.) - eel, literally 'snake-fish'.
See further: .

Compare also to:
kala (Est., Votic, Fin., Izhor., Karel., Chudi, Veps.), kalā (Livonian), guolli (Saami), kal (Erzia, Moksh.), kol (Mari), χŭᴧ, χul (Khanty), χūl (Mansi), χaľa (Nenets), koli̮ (Nganasan), k͔uə̑lǝ (Sekulp.), kola (Khamas.), kälä (Matori), hal (Hung.) - any fish (yet another symbol of the Underworld);
kalluun (Somali) - any fish;
[challwa] (Kechua) - any fish;
[khaláo] (Old Gr.) - to submerge, to sink.

jaculus (Latin) – a snake;
јагула (Makedonian), jegulja (Bosnian, Slovenian, Kroatian), јегуља [jegulja] (Serbian) - eel;
Egel (Ger.), igel (Sw.), igle (Dan., Norw.) - leech, bloodsucker;
ugly (Eng.), akelig (Dutch), aaklik (Frisian), ekkel (Norw.), ækel (Dan.) - ugly, vile, disgusting, terrible, dangerous;
Агаль [Agal] (Church Slavic) – an Evil Spirit.

Obviously also the following words are phonetically and semantically related to the Lower World and to the major personification of the power of Evil - the Serpent ("The Serpent is more cunning than all other animals..." Genesis, III, 1):

yalan (Turk., Azeri), ялган [yalgan] (Tatar) - lie, deception, false; yalandan (Tur.) - falsely, deceitfully; aldau (Tat., Kazakh) - to deceive, entangle, seduce; aldat(mak) (Tur.) - to deceive, seduce, confuse; jõle, jõleda (Est.) - to deceive, to fool;
õel (Est.) - evil, cruel, malicious, insidious; õel, gen. õela (Est.) - a devil, a Satan, a devilry; õelus (Est.) - an anger, a malice, a nastiness, a satan, an unclean power; õeluseuss (Est.) - the worm of malice, a snake, a witch, a shrew; õelutse(ma) (Est.) - to malice, to speak maliciously; ovela, dial. evelä (Fin.) - sly, wily; ёлс [yols] (Merja) - devil, unclean; īls (Latvian) - very dark;
өвөл [övöl] (Mongolian) - winter;
εὐλή [evli] (Old Gr.), ѣвлѣ, евль [yevl'] (Church Slavic), йыл, иль [yil, il] (Mari) - a slug, a worm, a grave worm;
evil (Eng.), evel, yfel (Old Eng.), euvel (Dutch), übel (Ger.), ubil (Old Ger.), ubils (Gothic) - evil, malice, malicious; [yablaq] (Old Turkic) - an evil;
devil (Eng.), deofol (Old Eng.), tiufal (Old Ger.), Teufel (Ger.), diabaulus (Gothic), diavolo (Ital.), diablo (Sp.), diabolus (Latin) - a devil, a satan, an evil spirit, a false god.

N.B. The British etymologists do not even compare words evil and devil, and decided that devil must be from Hebrew, to mean "accuser, slanderer," from [diaballein] "to slander, attack," literally "throw across," from dia- "across, through" + ballein "to throw"; further from a hypothetic 'PIE' root *gwele- "to throw, reach":

Could be, as the matter of fact, a contamination (a mix of two meanings in one word), yet, it is clear that evil and devil is practically same thing, and comes first of all from all of the above in the semantic field related to the struggle of the Sun and the Eel (the Snake, the Dragon).


The Indian Ahi Budhnya, Skt. अहिर्बुध्न्य 'the Serpent of the Depths' - a character in Vedic mythology - is mentioned together with Aja Ekapad, 'a one-legged goat'.

It is noteworthy that the Mari people on Volga call the same holiday of the winter solstice as Шорык йол [Shoryk Yol] - and perceive it, literally, from their language, as the 'holiday of sheep's leg', where jol, ял (Mari), jalg, jala, jalga (Est.), jālga (Livonian), jalka (Fin., Votic, Izhorian, Mokshan), jalga, jalgu (Karel.), jaug (Veps.), ďalg (Chudi), juolgi (Saami), jalgo (Erzia), gyal (Hung.) - means leg.
Compare to: Calves-Foot, Calf's Foot (Eng.) - a jelly, traditionally eaten for Christmas: .

This obviously also inter-crosses with игла [igla] (Rus.) - a needle; йыл [yıl] (Komi) - a sharp pole; and with ель, ёлка [yel, yolka] (Rus.), ѥла (Church Slavic) - a spruce tree; jodła (Pol.), jedle (Czech) - a fir-tree - a sharp pointed barbed tree.


The semantic field of words related to cold, coldness, frost, freezing, death, appears endless:

чил [chil] (Khakassian), szél (Hung.), жел [zhel] (Kazakh), җил [zhil] (Tatar), ел [el] (Bashkirian), yel (Turk., Azeri, Uzbek, Crimean Tatar), çил [chil] (Chuvashian) - wind;
Çillə - 40 days of cold weather following the celebration of Shabe Yalda, the night of the winter solstice in the Zoroastrian tradition: ; Compare to: чилла [chilla] (Ingushian) – the period of light snow powder from January to early February;
chill (Eng.), ciele, cele (Old Eng.) - cold, cooling;
kühlen (Ger.) - to cool;
gelo (Ital.), hielo (Sp.), gelu, gelum, gelus (Latin) - ice;
jelly (Eng.) - a jelly, a calves-foot; to freeze;
jail (Eng.) - a prison - which is allegedly from caveola (Lat.) - 'a small cave' :)

hilo (Sebua, Filippines) – poison.

[ceel, cel] (Maya) - cold, horror - See: ;
həlak (Azeri), һәлак (Tatar), halok (Uzbek) - death, destruction;
khelh (Ingush.) - to die;
xăłti, хăԓты (Khant.) - to die, to hold on; Ас хăԓты тыԓǝщ (Khant.) - January, literally, 'the month of the frozen river Ob';
holt (Hung.) - dead;
cold (Eng.), kalt (Ger.);
холод [kholod] (Rus.) - cold, frost; голод [golod] (Rus.) - hunger;
kool(ma), kool(da) (Est.), kūolõ (Livonian), koolla (Votic, Izhorian), kuolla, kuoleutua (Fin.), kuolta (Karel.), kuol(da) (Chudi), kol(da) (Veps.), kulo(ms) (Erzia, Mokshan), kolaš (Mari), kuli̮(ni̮) (Udmurt), kuv(ni̮) (Komi), χăl- (Khanty), χōli- (Mansi), hal(ni) (Hung.), χa- (Nenets), ka- (Enets), kū- (Nganasan), k͔u- (Sekulpian), ki- (Kamassian), kaa- (Mator.) - to die;
околеть [okolet'] (Rus.) - to die.

Compare also to:
кол [kol] (Rus.) - a wooden stick; колоть [kolot'] (Rus.) - to punch with a stick or other sharp object;
coltello (It.), culter (Lat.) - a knife; cultrarius (Lat.) - one who kills the sacrificed animals; Compare to: cult, culture;
қöl(ni) (Hung.) - to kill;
kill; killed (Eng.).

Without K-: oli (Est., Fin.) - was; olim (Latin) - before, once upon a time; ölüm (Turk., Azeri), o'lim (Uzbek), үлем [ülem] (Tatar), өлім [ölim] (Kazakh) - death, dead; öl(mek) (Turk.) - to die; яла [yala] (Ingushian) - to die; öl (Oyrot Altaic) - death.

Compare also to: काली [Kālī] (Sanskrit) — the dark and violent form of Parvati, the dark Shakti and the destructive aspect of Shiva, the goddess of death, destruction and horror in Hinduism; Kali Yuga - the last of the "Yuga" eras in Indian mythology; Compare to: kali (Chewa, a Bantu language in Southern Africa) - angry, furious, ferocious.

The connection to the Underworld may be also followed through such words as:

ala, alla (Est., Votic, Fin., Izhor., Karel.), alā (Livonoan), alaz (Vepsian), al (Chudi, Erzia, Moksha), ül- (Mari), ul (Udmurt), uv (Komi), il (Hanty, Kamassian), i̮l (Sekulpian), jol- (Mansi), ŋil- (Nenets), ŋilea (Nganasan), alá (Hung.) - below, under;
Iэл, Эл [El] (in Ingush pagan mythology) - the Underworld of the Dead;
hell - the Underworld;
alçak (Turk.) - low; alt, altı, altında (Tur., Azeri) - below, under; ылди [yldi] (Kaz.) - a slope, a descent; ылдила [yldila] (Kaz.) - to go down; ылдилы [yldily] (Kaz.) - of lowland;
alan (Turk., Tatar) - a lawn, a glade, a lowland;
alanko (Fin.) - a lowland;
елань, алань [yelan', alan'] (Rus.) - a grassy lowland convenient for pastures and mowing;
Compare to: Holland, Ital. Olanda, Rus. Голландия ( =Netherlands, literally, 'the lowland'; Ital. Paesi Bassi);
[уalan] (Maya) - under.
See more: .

And Ель, Ёлка, Yel (Rus.), ελάτη (Gr.) - is both an evergreen tree of eternal life, and a tree connected with the UnderWorld. In the Finno-Ugric tradition in Northern Russia people still lay out the path for the deceased in a cemetery with fir branches:


During the celebration of Yule, the holiday of the winter solstice, the Joulupukki (the Yule Goat), was visiting homes and checking whether everything was ready for the celebration: was the house clean, were the necessary meals prepared, did the owners of the house have new clothes. Joulupukki was also used to frighten children.

By the end of the XIXth Century, the functions of Yule Goat had gotten transferred to Santa Claus, in Russian Дед Мороз [Ded Moroz] ('Father Frost'), who 'got kinder', became no more the 'dead morose', and is no longer used for frightening children and does not punish them any more.

The eternal struggle of the DRAGON-SERPENT and the SUN

Everywhere, the symbols of the Dragon Serpent, of the Lower World, of the departing 'Old Year' - are sacrificed for sake of the normal time course.

And the plot of the struggle between the Sun and the Dragon-Serpent, with alternating success, and with the inevitable resurrection of the Invincible Sun, on an annual basis, is reflected in numerous myths and religions all around the world.

One of the most well-known, is the myth about St. George who defeats the Dragon-Serpent. The etymology of the name George is, by the matter of fact, much older than Greek language - it comes from the Akkadian [garg-aru, gurg-urru, kark-aru] - a metalworking master, a blacksmith.

This same plot that can be recognized in the petroglyphs in Altai mountains: a dragon with short legs, snake body and head of a horse struggles with the sun which takes a human form; a monster with a toothed tail, bites the foot of a solar deity:

'One of the interpretations of these petroglyphs is the annual movement of the Sun; drawings can be divided according to two halves of the plate into the autumn-winter and spring-summer parts. At the autumn equinox, the Sun crosses the celestial equator and plunges into the Southern half of the celestial sphere. The day is waning, until the winter solstice does not occur, after which the Sun begins to revive. In the vernal equinox, the Sun again crosses the celestial equator, marking the beginning of spring.'

The Serpent "Mound" in Ohio, in the shape of a huge Snake 420 meters long, bends seven times, and devours the Sun with its open mouth. As noticed by researchers, the part of the "Mound" which includes the Serpent's head devouring the Sun, 'was designed for observing of the summer solstice.'

Twice a year, at the moment of spring and autumn equinox, the Feathered Serpent Quetzalcoatl, the ancient Mayan deity, appears on the Kukulkan pyramid in Chichen Itza: 'the setting sun connects the head with the body; in March, the Quetzalcoatl rises up to heaven, and in September it returns down to Earth."
'Each of the four stairs of the Kukulkan pyramid has 91 steps, which is equal to the number of days between the solstice and the equinox. The 365th step crowns the pyramid - closing and combining the total number of days in a year.'

Thai people call the month of January: มกราคม [Mа́kara khm]. Being the month following the winter solstice, when the Snake-Dragon is overthrown, the name is obviously connected to मकर, Makara (Sanskrit) - a mythical giant sea monster (an Indian version of the Leviathan), combining the features of a dolphin, shark and crocodile:
Compare also to:
Μέγαιρα, Megera - in Greek mythology, the most terrible of the three Erinis, the goddesses of blood feud, pursuing the guilty and driving them to madness; the personification of envy and anger; portrayed in the form of a terrible woman with snakes instead of hair, with bared teeth and a whip in her hands; hence megera (Ital.), mégère (Fr.) - an angry and grumpy woman;
[makir] ماكر (Arab) - cunning;
mе:kara (Chechen), маькара [maakara] (Ingush) - an insidious, malicious, cunning person;
mäkärä, mäkäräinen, makarainen (Fin., Karel.), mägar (Ludic., Est. dial.), muokēr (Saami) - a moscito.

The hero of the Polynesian mythology Maui kills the giant sea eel Tuna.
Tuna in the language of Maori people means 'eel', and is obviously related to such words and names as:
tuna, Italian tonno - a gigantic fish which descends into cold deep waters during its migration period;
[tanin] تنين (Arab.) - a dragon;
Tuna - the evil spirit thrown away by the Alaska's Eskimo people out of their homes at the time when the Sun re-appears above the horizon, after 2 months of darkness;
tont, tondi, tonti (Est., Livonian), tontti (Votic, Izhorian) - a ghost, evil spirit, evil force, devil; archaic meaning: a dragon;
Tooni (Est.), Tuoni (Fin.) - the Deity of the Nether world; Tuonela (Fin.) - the River of the Dead; Toonela (Est.) - the underground, the otherworldly kingdom, the Kingdom of the Dead, the world of the dead: ;
[doniya] دنيا (Arab.) - the Nether world;
Θάνατος, Tanatos — personification of the Death in Greek mythology; lives at the edge of the world;
дно, дъно [d'no] (Slavic) - bottom; тонуть [tonut'] (Rus.) - to drown;
down, arch. dune;
tünö (Mari) - out, away;
төн [tön] (Tatar), түн [tün] (Kaz., Kyrgiz) - north; night;
don (Turk.) - frost;
ठंढ [thandh] (Hindi), दंव [Danva, danu] (Marathi) - frost.

In Russian folk fairy tales, Кощей, Koschey (Fin. kosija [kosiya] - suitor) chases up Ivan Tsarevich, overtakes him, cuts him into small pieces, puts the pieces into a tarred barrel, throws it into the sea, and takes Marya Morevna as wife. The brothers-in-law of Ivan Tsarevich, however, save him, pull the barrel ashore, take the pieces of Ivan Tsarevich out of the barrel, wash them and duly re-connect them. A raven pours the 'dead' water, so that the body re-unites together, while a falcon pours the 'living' water - after which Ivan Tsarevich rises up and says: Oh, how long have I slept!

Based on a different version, used by Alexander Pushkin in his Tale of Tsar Saltan, the mother-queen is placed together with a newborn prince Guidon into a wooden barrel and is thrown into the ocean. The barrel ends up in a deserted island, and the prince Guidon comes out of it already as an adult youth.

It is remarkable that the ancient name for a barrel is the same as the mentioned name of Finnic deity of the Nether world Tooni, Tuoni, as well as the name of the evil spirit of the Eskimos, the Tuna, and the eel named Tuna, which is defeated by the hero of the Polynesian mythology Maui, as well as the Arab dragon - تنين [tanin; tannin]:
tun (Eng.), tunne (Old Eng.), tunna (Sw.), Tonne (Ger.), tünn, tünni, tünder (Est.), tynnyri (Fin.) - a barrel, a large cask (e.g., viljatünn (Est.) – a barrel for storing corn; veetünn (Est.) – a barrel for storing water; tünni kaas (Est.) – the bottom or the lead of a barrel).
This word also gave rise to the internationally used measurement unit, the tonn.

The resurrected Ivan Tsarevich, similar to his prototypes in various mythologies, fights against a serpent called Горыныч, Gorynych, and defeats him:

A similar plot is found in the Greek mythology: Acrisius locks Danae with her newborn son Perseus in a wooden coffin and throws them into the open sea. Near to an island of Serif, the box gets into a net of a fisherman named Diktis, who saves Danae and her son:

Once Perseus grows up and gains strength, he defeats Medusa Gorgon, which has snakes instead of hair, and whose gaze turns living beings into stones.

We shall as well recall Lemminkäinen, who symbolized the rising morning Sun in the Finnic epos of Kalevala. Lemminkäinen is sent to the waters of Tuonela, and the old man from Pohjola (the Land of the North), who was previously insulted by Lemminkäinen, decides to kill him. When Lemminkäinen approaches Tuonela, the old man snatches a snake from its waters and hurls it at Lemminkäinen’s chest. Like a spear, the snake pierces Lemminkäinen. But, thanks to the efforts of his mother, Lemminkäinen resurrects:

One should also re-call the myths involving Osiris. In one of the descriptions, the Egyptian God Seth deceives Osiris and prompts him to lie down in a wooden coffin, then locks it and throws into the River Nile. But Osiris resurrects.
Osiris' wife, Isis, searches for Osiris' remains until she finally finds them on the Phoenician coast. Isis manages to get hold of the coffin and open it. Using a spell, Isis returns her husband to life, in order to get pregnant from him.
Thereafter Osiris dies again, and Isis hides his body in a desert. But Seth finds the body of Osiris, breaks it into pieces and scatters them on the ground.

In the Greek version, Osiris is described as an ancient king who taught Egyptians the arts and the agriculture. Osiris traveled around the world with his sister Isis, satyrs and nine muses, until he finally returned to Egypt, where his evil brother Typhon killed him, chopping the body into pieces. But Isis and Hercules, the son of Zeus, revenged for the death of Osiris, and killed Typhon. Learn more details here:

Ivan Tsarevich, Lemminkäinen, Orisis were all hacked into pieces (similar to how the Dragon constellation was cutting the Sun into pieces, commencing from each July, at around 4,500-5,000 years ago, in the Hyperborean lands). Yet, each of them resurrected. Effectively, annually.

One may also recall Apollo who fought the dragon serpent called Python.

And at Christmas the Italians still eat the eel, calling it il Capitone, commemorating the moment when the Sun defeats the 'sea serpent' and begins its annual path of resurrection:

Also the Swedes traditionally try to get an eel for the festive table during Christmas, see 'ål till jul':

For more details please refer to the studies by:

Aspa-Wettenhovi, 'Fenno-ägyptischer Kulturursprung der alten Welt' (1936):

Tilak, Bal Gangadhar (1856-1920) - The Arctic Home in the Vedas:



*...Tuban (α Dra) from the constellation of the Dragon, was the star closest to the North Pole, from 3700 to 1500 BC. Due to the precession of the Earth's axis, it will again get close to the North Pole in 21,000 AD:Дракон_(созвездие) .

I.e., the myths about the Dragon Snake (with its various names), and about its struggle with the Sun (with the various names for the Sun itself) could have been born by those who lived in the North, in the period from 5700 to 3500 years ago.

For a better understanding: due to precession, after a while also the Polar Star will cease to be the star nearest to the North Pole:Прецессия ; .