Boar’s Head festival set for Jan. 5 and 6

Dec 18, 2012
Dancers from the Rockport Dance Conservatory perform their special celebratory dance before the King and Queen and Royal Court of the Boar's Head and Yule Log Pageant.

Rockland — The Rockland Congregational Church, 180 Limerock St., will present the annual Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival Saturday, and Sunday, Jan. 5 and 6 at 2 p.m. Since its inception in Rockland in 2004, the Boar's Head cast has been comprised of young and old amateur singers and dancers from the Midcoast communities of Waldoboro, Union, St. George, Rockland, Rockport, Camden, Owls Head and Spruce Head. Live animals play a large part in the production including a donkey, Noelle, several inquisitive llamas, an angora rabbit and an assortment of sheep and geese.

The festival is a re-enactment of ancient celebrations which marked the end of the 12 days of Christmas and were held on the Feast of Epiphany, when tradition claims that the Magi offered their gifts to the Christ Child. In medieval England, this time was recognized by revels in the manor hall, presenting a wild boar’s head, which came to symbolize Christ’s triumph over Satan.

The Boar’s Head and Yule Log Festival is staged in the spacious sanctuary, decorated in the beginning as the Manor House. Arriving guests are greeted with music and offered sweetmeats. The Herald proclaims the entry of the Boar’s Head, carried in triumph by the Beefeaters, and a procession of cooks and staff brings forth the great feast. Then follow carolers, King Wenceslas and his page reminding viewers to help those in need and woodsmen with the Yule log, which represents the rekindling of love. The lights dim and the hall transforms into a cathedral for the worship of the newborn King as the Holy Family arrives, followed by shepherds, magi and animals.

When all have assembled, they kneel in adoration. The ceremony closes as a small child in the role of the Yule sprite, accompanied by a cleric of the church, carries forth Christ’s light to all people. The audience is invited to enjoy refreshments in the fellowship hall after the festival.

Tickets are available by calling the church office at 594-8656 Mondays through Thursdays between 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Reserved seating is $15, and general admission is $10.

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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