Monday, January 07, 2013

boar's head and yule log

Our local episcopal church held its annual Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival Sunday. I have been meaning to go since we moved down here, but this year was the first time we were actually able to attend. And I'm so glad we did. The kid loved the music and the carols and especially seeing some of her friends taking part in the performance. Everyone seemed to have a wonderful time, and I have to admit that I really enjoyed singing along to the traditional carols with the performers and the congregation, Like "Good King Wenceslas," "We Three Kings," "the Twelve Days of Christmas," "What Child is This?" and "O Come, All Ye Faithful."

There were some very impressive bagpipers, a choir, a squad of Beefeaters, a brass quintet as well as members of the congregation dressed as the Holy Family, shepherds, the Three Kings, and many more. As described on the church's website, the performance was a re-enactment of the traditional English boar's head festival, which
"... dates back to the 1300s in Queen's College, Oxford. Wild boars menaced villagers in Norman England, and the serving of the boar symbolizes the triumph of good over evil. In the beautiful gothic church, we relive the pageantry and drama of 14th century England."
Before the performance started, the rector requested that everyone put away all cameras and phones, and gently warned that the ushers would not hesitate to escort anyone to the exit who tried to film the performance. I have to admit that I was momentarily disappointed, because I was looking forward to capturing the costumes and pageantry, but I am so glad he said that. It allowed everyone to be fully present and take part in the performance, in a way that our constantly documented lives don't always allow. And there was plenty of time after it was over to snap a few shots of the bagpipers and Beefeaters for posterity.

We will definitely be coming back to the festival again, and the church, too.

Playing with filters waiting for the performance to start.
After the performance, in the courtyard
Taking part in the crèche on the lawn
Many more than 11 pipers piping continued playing in the courtyard after the performance, much to the delight of cast members and crowd alike


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