Boar’s Head Feast is back

Jan 04, 2019

Belfast — A Boar's Head Feast will be offered Saturday, Jan. 12, at 5 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall of First Church UCC, 55 Spring St. All are invited to come and join with the King and Queen and their court as they are entertained by the Lord of Misrule and the many mummers (actors and mimes), musicians and singers.

Children of the Sunday School, along with adults of the church and the community, will fill the character roles. This is the second annual Boar's Head event for First Church, though the church has a history of doing a Boar's Head Madrigal Dinner in the 1990s.

The feast recalls the medieval English tradition that celebrated the last day of Christmastide (the 12th day of Christmas) and the welcoming of the new year. It is unknown precisely where the boar's head as a dish originated. Earliest written record of the ceremony dates back to 1170 in England, but its roots certainly go back to pagan rituals involving the sacrifice of a large boar to the god Frey, the Germanic god of fertility.

As the custom became popular throughout Europe, it also became a cherished event in the great manor houses of Britain. The Christian church endowed the custom with symbolic meaning and elevated it to the service of God. The ceremony became a service of praise to the Lord of the Universe by the Lord of the Manor.

The delicious feast being prepared by the First Church cooks will include pork pie, ham and turkey, along with potatoes, various vegetables, rolls and bread pudding dessert. Of course, wassail or mulled cider (non-alcoholic) will be included. A limit of 120 seats is available. Tickets can be ordered in advance from the church office beginning Sunday, Jan. 6. Cost is $15; $10 for senior citizens; and $5 for children younger than 13.

The First Church Fellowship Hall entrance is at the Court Street intersection. The First Church is an Open and Affirming Congregation, welcoming all and ADA accessible. For more information or to order tickets, call the church office at 338-2282.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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