No Boars Were Harmed in the Making of This Festival | Night & Day | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida

No Boars Were Harmed in the Making of This Festival

Come celebrate another pagan festival co-opted by Christianity. The Boars Head and Yule Log Festival at the Episcopal Church of Bethesda-by-the-Sea (141 S. Country Road, Palm Beach) is Sunday. To be fair, this individual church did not actually co-opt the festival. That happened a few centuries ago. But you can now feel free to revel in pagan abandon secure in the knowledge that it won't get you kicked out of Christian heaven.

The point is, pagan festivals are superfun even when they take place in churches -- actually, especially when they take place in churches. There will be lords, ladies, beefeaters, shepherds, sprites, huntsmen, and every other ye olde character you can think of celebrating the Epiphany -- more than 160 cast members will perform reenactments of medieval London during a Lord Mayor's Banquet, which starts at 2:30 and again at 4:30 p.m.

Otherwise known as Twelfth Night, the Epiphany marks the night the three wise men arrived with their presents for baby Jesus. The boar's-head part of the fest comes from an old English tale about an Oxford student who fends off a raging boar with a copy of the works of Aristotle in a triumph of knowledge over brutish nature. Over time, Christian beliefs became intertwined with the tale, and the story became about faith conquering evil nature. Or something like that. Seats are first-come, first-served, and although the event is technically free, this is a church, and a $20 donation is recommended. Visit, or call 561-655-4554.
Sun., Jan. 8, 2:30 & 4:30 p.m., 2012

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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane

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