All Hail the Entrance of the Boar’s Head!

The tradition of the Boar’s Head Festival goes back to Medieval England, where, it is said, on a cold Christmas Eve in the 14th century (or, perhaps, the 16th century—nobody is entirely sure), a university student was walking through the woods, lost in thought as he studied his copy of Aristotle. In the fading twilight a wild boar attacked the scholar, and the quick-thinking lad saved himself by ramming his book down the animal’s throat. The next day’s feast at Oxford featured a tasty treat: roast pork. It was the custom of the time to present the head of the animal to the hunter, but, in honor of the day, the Boar’s Head was brought into the dining hall and set before an effigy of the Christ Child, in thanksgiving for the young man’s life. Over the years, the Boar’s Head ceremony was seen to represent God’s power to slay evil, and the
Read More