Rockland church celebrates annual Boar's Head festival
Rockland — A festival tradition that goes back 2,000 years to the days of the Roman Empire was celebrated Saturday, Jan. 5, and Sunday, Jan. 6, at the Rockland Congregational Church.
Members of the church performed the 7th annual Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival. 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, according to the Congregational church website.
In Norman, England, the boar was considered the sovereign of the forests, and was a menace to all and a symbol of evil, according to the local church bulletin.
By the 12th century, the serving of the boar's head at Christmas had become a triumph of good over evil, and was associated with Epiphany, a celebration in the Christian church calendar.
The tradition was carried down for many centuries and survived in Connecticut in the American colonies in the 17th century.
At Rockland Congregational Church, a cast of members dressed in 15th century authentic attire creates an atmosphere for a great banquet. Members of the congregation sing hymns and carols to honor the Christ child in a lowly manger setting. Farm animals are brought to church to give the scene authenticity.
Courier Publications reporter George Chappell can be reached at 207-594-4401, ext. 117, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.