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Black Tie International:
 Bethesda-by-the-Sea’s Annual Boar's Head & Yule Log Festival


Bethesda by the Sea


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 door

INFO:  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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