BELFAST — A Boar's Head Feast will be offered Saturday, Jan. 12, at 5 p.m., in the Fellowship Hall of The First Church in Belfast, United Church of Christ.
All are invited to come and join with the King and Queen and their court as they are entertained by the Lord of Misrule and the many mummers (actors and mimes), musicians and singers. Children of the Sunday School along with adults of the church and the community will fill the character roles.
This is the 2nd annual Boar's Head event for the First Church, though the church has a history of doing a Boar's Head Madrigal Dinner, back in the 1990s, according to a Church news release.
The feast recalls the medieval English tradition that celebrated the last day of Christmastide (the 12th day of Christmas) and the welcoming of the new year. It is unknown precisely where the boar's head as a dish originated, according to the release. Earliest written record of the ceremony dates back to 1170 in England but its roots certainly go back to pagan rituals involving the sacrifice of a large boar to the god Frey, the Germanic god of fertility.
As the custom became popular throughout Europe, it also became a cherished event in the great manor houses of Britain. The Christian Church endowed the custom with symbolic meaning and elevated it to the service of God. Thereby the ceremony became a service of praise to the Lord of the Universe by the Lord of the Manor.
The delicious feast being prepared by the First Church cooks will include pork pie, ham, and turkey, along with potatoes, various vegetables, rolls and bread pudding dessert. Of course "wassail" or mulled cider (non-alcoholic) will be included!
A limit of 120 seats will be available and tickets can be ordered in advance from the church office beginning January 6. Cost is $15 for adults, $10 for Seniors, and $5 for children 12 and under.
The First Church Fellowship Hall entrance is at 55 Spring Street, at the Court Street intersection.
The First Church is an Open and Affirming Congregation, welcoming all and ADA accessible.
For more information or to order tickets, call the church office at 338-2282. You can also check out the Church on Facebook @FirstChurchinBelfastUCC or website: www.firstchurchinbelfast.org.