ANNUAL BOAR’S HEAD FESTIVAL RETURNS TO BETHESDA-BY-THE-SEA
FOR ITS 35TH YEAR,
JANUARY 6, 2013
PALM BEACH, FL – A Perennial Holiday Favorite returns with
the Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival at The Episcopal
Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea in Palm Beach Sunday, January
6, 2013 with performances at 2:30 and 4:30 PM. The festival
presents a medieval London Lord Mayor's Boar's Head banquet,
complete with Beefeaters, Palm Beach Pipes & Drums, Lords &
Ladies, strolling singers, instrumentalists, sprites,
shepards, huntsmen, pages, jesters, dancers, and
parishioners. With over 160 cast members, the performance is
a re-enactment of the sacred songs and telling of the
Christmas and Epiphany story, carrying forth the light of
Christ's birth to all people.
An epiphany is a revelation and a
climax of the Advent/Christmas Season. The Twelve Days of
Christmas are usually counted from the evening of December
25th until the morning of January 6th, which is the Twelfth
Day. Western churches celebrate the Epiphany season as it
marks the moment when the Three Kings arrived in Bethlehem
to deliver gifts to Christ, therefore revealing to the world
that he was the Lord. The Boar’s Head is a mixture of old
English and Christian tradition where favorite Christmas
Carols, fantastic costumes and performances celebrate the
joy of the holiday season and the Twelve Days of Christmas.
WHAT: Bethesda-by-the-Sea’s Annual Boar's Head and
Yule Log Festival.
WHERE: The Episcopal Church of
Bethesda-by-the-Sea, located at 141 South Country Road at
Barton Avenue, Palm Beach
(just south of The Breakers Hotel)
WHEN: Sunday, January 6th, 2:30 PM and again at 4:30 PM
TICKETS: Seats are available on a first-come, first-served
basis. A suggested donation of $15 will be collected at the
or by calling 561-655-4554
The History of the Boar’s Head Festival:
An ancient legend serves as the basis for this Festival: an
Oxford University student, while strolling in the forest
reading the works of Aristotle, was charged by a wild and
raging boar. The student, quick thinking, thrust his volume
of Aristotle into the throat of the boar, putting an end to
this deadly threat.
After the telling of this tale, the head of the boar was
borne into a feast at Oxford. The celebration for the
student's life came to represent the overcoming of brute
force with reason. When the Church adapted the Festival, it
gained a new, profoundly Christian significance: the boar's
head, symbolic representation of evil, is overcome by good
through the teachings of Christ (symbolized by light). Thus,
Christ becomes the snare for evil.
The Festival we know today originated at Queen's College,
Oxford, England in 1340. By 1607 an expansive ceremony was
in use at St. John's College, Cambridge, England. The boar's
head was decorated with flags and greenery sprigs to be
carried in state to the strains of the Boar's Head carol.
The Festival included lords, ladies, knights, historical
characters, cooks, hunters, pages, Yule log, plum pudding
and mince pie. Eventually, Good King Wenceslas, shepherds
and wise men were added to tell the Nativity story.
Persecuted French Huguenot Protestants who had learned this
custom while exiled in England brought this ceremony to
colonial America near Troy, New York. In 1888 a descendent
established this ceremony at the Hoosac Episcopal School.
Here Rev. Burroughs first saw it. He brought it to
Cincinnati in 1939 and gave it a church setting. From a
light and mellow celebration, it has evolved to a profoundly
moving experience, for participants and spectators alike.
If you would like more information on this topic or to
schedule an interview, please call Linda Soper at (612)
308-4159 or email:
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