IT’S FURRY FRIDAY; Celebrating Yule, the Winter Solstice!

Season’s Greetings and Solstice Blessings to You All!


This coming Monday—December 21st—is Yule, the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. It is a festival historically connected to ancient celebrations of the Wild Hunt, the god Odin, and the pagan Anglo-Saxon Mōdraniht. Yule predates the Christmas holiday by thousands of years, and is in fact, one of the oldest winter celebrations in the world.

Some Neo-Pagans consider this the day the Holly King and the Oak King meet once again in battle—the last time was the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year—and it is on Yule that the Holly King falls in battle and the Oak King takes up the crown. And this action will, bit by bit, allow the days to grow longer and bring Summer back once again.

Ancient people were hunters and spent most of their time outdoors. The seasons and weather played a very important part in their lives. Because of this, they had a great reverence for, and even worshipped, the sun. The Norsemen of Northern Europe saw the sun as a wheel that changed the seasons. It was from the word for this wheel, houl, that some believe the word Yule is thought to have come. At mid-winter the Norsemen lit bonfires, told stories, and drank sweet ale.

The Winter Solstice was celebrated in Britain long before the arrival of Christianity. The Druids—Celtic priests—would cut the mistletoe that grew on the oak tree and give it as a blessing. Oaks were seen as sacred and the winter fruit of the mistletoe was a symbol of life in the dark winter months.

It was also the Druids who began the tradition of the Yule log. The Celts thought that the sun stood still for twelve days in the middle of winter and during this time a log was lit to conquer the darkness, banish evil spirits, and bring luck for the coming year. Many of these customs are still followed today and have been incorporated into the Christian and secular celebrations of Christmas.

Today’s Furry Friday ends our celebration of the Eight Neo-Pagan holidays and features bearded men that we feel represent this very important day. We hope you enjoy the men we found and present to you here. Check them out, and please don’t forget to vote!

May the light of the Sun shine on in your life and in your heart and in the coming year!
BG “Ben” Thomas
Noah Willoughby

See the Men by Clicking Here

FURRY FRIDAY: International Animal Rights Day

International Animal Rights Day is observed every year on December 10th and serves to recognize the life, liberty and natural enjoyment of all living creatures and to remember the animal victims as the result of human neglect or abuse.

We’ve done Furry Fridays that featured dogs, but really no other types of animals. This edition will feature creatures great and small, domestic and exotic, and all with bearded men. Animals are a significant part of our lives and where would we be without them?

-Noah

See the Men by Clicking Here

FURRY FRIDAY: Men in Jockstraps (Decidedly Not Work Safe!)

It’s been a long time since we’ve done a Furry Friday like today’s, but after thinking about it, we thought it was about time. So keep in mind, this one is Decidedly Not Work Safe! Today we are featuring bearded men wearing jockstraps. And it’s pretty clear that the jockstrap is as assuredly a masculine piece of apparel as the bra is a woman’s. And for some of us, it’s a damned sexy one too. That’s what you’ll be seeing today…!  Continue reading

FURRY FRIDAY: Ginger Beards

Yesterday was National Redhead Day, also called National Love Your Red Hair Day, a day to recognize and celebrate those with red hair. Redheaded people account for 1 to 2 percent of the entire world’s population, making red hair a very rare thing indeed.

Even more rare are men with dark hair but grow red or reddish beards, like myself. Due to a distant relative somewhere in the family tree, that redhead gene carried on and can cause a red beard even when the hair is dark and red hair doesn’t really appear in the immediate family.

In keeping with the theme of celebrating red hair, today’s Furry Friday features men with both red hair and beards. Enjoy the ginger beards and vote for your favorite(s)!

-Noah

See the Men by Clicking Here

FURRY FRIDAY: Men of Samhain, the Pagan New Year

In years past, this particular edition of Furry Friday has featured the fun and scariness of Halloween, with photographs of bearded men in wild and crazy and yes, even scary, “Halloween” costumes and makeup. But we in the Bear Den decided that in 2020 we would honor the eight so-called “pagan” holidays of The Wheel of the Year, which bring our attention to the turning seasons of the year. So this year, we are focusing instead on the ancient holiday Samhain, the real name for Halloween.

Samhain (pronounced SOW-in in Irish and SAH-win in English), more commonly known the world over as Halloween, is considered the pagan New Year, the beginning of the turning of the Great Wheel of the Seasons, and is a Gaelic festival marking the end of the harvest season (the third and final harvest) and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year.

The fields are bare, the leaves have fallen from the trees, and the skies are going gray and cold. It is the time of year when the earth has died and gone dormant. Every year on October 31 (or May 1, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere) the holiday known as Samhain presents its followers with the opportunity to once more celebrate the cycle of death and rebirth. For many Pagan traditions, Samhain is a time to reconnect with their ancestors, and honor those who have died. This is the time when “pagans” believe that the veil between our world and the spirit realm is “thinnest,” so it’s the perfect time of year to make contact with the dead. There are those that believe this can be done literally. But what is wrong with doing it figuratively? It’s a symbolic thing we can all do by honoring our ancestors, but those by blood, and those by choice.

And did you also know that this year’s Samhain/Halloween is also a full moon? Not only that, but it is a blue moon, which means it is the second full moon of the month, something that happens only about every two and a half years. And we haven’t had a Blue Moon on Halloween since 1944. That’s 76 years! And NASA says that the next time a full moon falls on Halloween isn’t expected until 2039! So this is pretty special!

While Samhain is considered by most who practice an Earth-based religion to be the end and beginning of the year, we here at Furry Friday did not begin our series of celebrating the eight holidays of the Wheel of the Year until January, so that means we have one last holiday to go, which is Yule.

But until then, please enjoy our selections of bearded men that we feel represent Samhain. We home you enjoy! And don’t forget to vote!

Happy Samhain and Blessed Be!
BG “Ben” Thomas

See the Men by Clicking Here

FURRY FRIDAY: Real Bearded Men of Facebook

So like a lot of people, I belong to a number of groups on Facebook and quite a few of those deal with bears (are you surprised?), beards, and men with beards. Now usually these groups are filled with pictures people found and posted from the Internet, not unlike what Noah and I do in Furry Friday. But some are men on Facebook, with beards, posting pictures of themselves.

And I was struck by quite a few of them that were just like what I feature here each week, beautiful men with beautiful beards—of every shape and description. And then it hit me, why not feature these men? Real men and not models (models who are usually posed in supremely “model” poses?) Why not men just being themselves? Real men?

And that is what we have here today! “The Real Bearded Men of Facebook!” I hope you enjoy them as much as I did finding them and getting their consent to join in on the fun!

Happy Furry Friday!
BG “Ben” Thomas
Don’t forget to vote down at the bottom!
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FURRY FRIDAY: Art of JoJi

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a Furry Friday that featured artwork. They seem to be pretty popular so I’ve found another artist that specializes in furry artwork and there will be more in the future.

JoJi is a self-taught Thai artist who specializes in bara, a Japanese comic art style that focuses on gay love, typically featuring hairy, masculine and bearish characters. On his Patreon page, JoJi expresses his desire to use his artwork to change people’s minds about how they view same-sex romance in art and that it can be passionate, sweet and emotional, and not necessarily pornographic or obscene.

While some of his artwork is erotic, he primarily focuses on men, both single and couples, expressing emotions that range from love and happiness to loneliness and heartache. And of course, with it being Furry Friday, many of the men he draws have beards.

Here is just a small sampling of his artwork. Check out more of his art on Twitter, Instagram and Patreon. And don’t forget to vote for your favorites!

-Noah

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FURRY FRIDAY: National Coming Out Day

When I came out for the second, and real time, at thirty years old, gay activists were saying that the best thing GLBT people could do was come out. Harvey Milk said, “Gay brothers and sisters, you must come out. Come out to your parents…Come out to your relatives. Come out to your friends, if indeed they are your friends. Come out to your neighbors, to your fellow workers, to the people who work where you eat and shop….once and for all, break down the myths. Destroy the lies and distortions. For your sake. For their sake.” Activists said it was the only way people would know that we were their doctors and lawyers, gardeners and pool boys, librarians and garbage men…. That they would see they have nothing to fear from us. That we are just like them and not some scary dangerous demons.

That was the beginning. This is certainly the reason I came out loud and strong. I remember holding hands with a boyfriend in public and his mother nervously saying, “But what will kids say if they see you?” I responded with, Continue reading

FURRY FRIDAY: International Coffee Day

International Coffee Day occurs annually on September 29th (except for Japan and the UK, were it occurs on October 1st). The day was created not to only celebrate this universally loved beverage, but also to recognize the diversity and culture of coffee around the world.

The International Coffee Organization (ICO) encourages coffee lovers to experience new and different coffees that come from all around the world, to seek out and support local coffee shops and roasteries, and to learn the process that goes into creating coffee. Coffee is a whole lot more than Folgers or Maxwell House or even Starbucks. So for International Coffee Day this year why not stop by a small local business and ask them to impress you. They’ll be thrilled to do so.

In the meantime, this Furry Friday focuses on bearded men enjoying coffee. And us? We can enjoy watching bearded men enjoying coffee. Why not? Sounds good to us. Why not check them out? We think you’ll find these men are “good to the last drop!” And don’t forget to vote!

-Noah

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FURRY FRIDAY: Beards of “Star Trek”

This week is the 24th anniversary of the original classic Star Trek, and by the very definition, of all Star Trek. It was this past Tuesday, the 8th, to be exact. In honor of this show that has shaped our science, careers, and our very culture, Noah and I decided to feature the bearded men of Star Trek.

I discovered Star Trek when I was about thirteen, and at the time, and what appealed to me so much to me about the show was that it showed a world where one day, everyone was accepted. It didn’t matter if you were male or female, black or white, Russian or Asian (and with a cold war going on, that was quite a statement), or if you were completely alien. And for a very unpopular kid, and the target of any and all bullies, knowing that there was one day going to be a time where it was all better was really important. I could even imagine myself—and I did—serving on the bridge.

Interestingly enough, it was also one of the first times that I was drawn up short and mesmerized my how wondering a man looked with a beard—and that was with my first viewing of Spock with a beard in the classic episode, “Mirror, Mirror.” Years later, when Star Trek: The Next Generation included William Riker—supposedly as the handsome alternate to Captain James T. Kirk—I was totally not interested…until he showed up in the second season with a beard. Suddenly I was like … “hubba-hubba!” Of course, by then I knew that it was the rare man who wasn’t made more handsome by a beard and that I rarely even noticed him unless he did have at least some kind of facial hair.

And right up until today, with the latest incarnation, Star Trek: Picard, with the bearded and very exciting Cristóbal “Chris” Ríos, I still feel the same when it comes to Star Trek or any other universe: a bearded man is the hottest man.

Let us know if you agree by checking out our Star Trek men!

And don’t forget to vote!
Live Long and Prosper,
BG “Ben” Thomas

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