Every year since since 1985 we've been blessed to celebrate and share the story of Jesus' birth through our Boar's Head Festival. But what is the Boar's Head?
The Boar’s Head became a part of the Christmas celebration during the Middle Ages. In medieval England, the boar was a ferocious beast and considered the ruler of the forest, a danger and menace to man and, therefore, the symbol of evil. The presentation of the boar’s head at Christmas time signified the triumph of Jesus over sin.
No one knows who planned the first Boar’s Head Procession, but it was celebrated at Queen’s College, Oxford, shortly after the founding of the University in 1340, and there it continues to this day. Over the centuries additions have been made to the Boar’s Head including the Yule Log (symbolizing Jesus, our “Light of the World”), the wise men, the shepherds, the knights, good King Wenceslas and his page, and the beefeaters (English ceremonial guards).
The Festival came to America in colonial times. Through Episcopal churches and schools, the ceremony was well established by late in the 19th century. When Bethlehem decided to continue this ancient tradition, it was given new life through the music, drama, and gifts shared by the many members of the congregation. This Festival is presented with the hope and prayer that it may be an offering of praise to Jesus and that it may bear witness of the joy we share in His Salvation.