Boar's Head Festival Procession

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A boar’s head is carried into a banquet hall accompanied by musicians. The boar’s head festival we know today originated at Queen’s College, Oxford, England. Legend has it that a scholar was studying a book of Aristotle while walking through the forest on his way to Midnight Mass. Suddenly, he was confronted by an angry wild boar. Having no other weapon, the resourceful Oxonian rammed his metal-bound philosophy book down the throat of the charging animal, whereupon the brute choked to death. That night the boar’s head, finely dressed and garnished, was borne in procession to the dining room, accompanied by carolers singing “in honor of the King of bliss.”


The Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (New York, NY: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1899) 210


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