Boar's Head Tickets on Sale
Festival dates: Jan. 10, 11, 12, 2020
The Festival is funded completely through ticket sales and donations. In an effort to keep ticket prices affordable, we ask that those who are able to consider making a donation. We express our gratitude for your generosity by offering Patron tickets and reserved parking to our donors.
We also offer an opportunity for you to help fund the large number of free admissions we offer to various organizations who provide services to the residents of the Asylum Hill neighborhood.
One of the highlights of the Music & Arts Ministry of Asylum Hill Congregational Church is the annual Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival—a medieval celebration of Epiphany through music, dancing, pageantry and live animals. This culminating event of the holiday season continues to attract new people to this active and friendly church. After each of the five performances, all are invited to Drew Hall after the performance for a gala reception where the ferocious boar’s head, the mince pie and many of the festival properties are on display. Demand is heavy for the 4,000 available reserved seating tickets, and patrons are encouraged to purchase them as soon as they go on sale.
All seats are reserved. Download or view the 2020 seating chart.
A small number of Patron seats are reserved for Boar’s Head donors – see the details in the Patron Tickets & Donations section.
Please note: No photography or recording devices of any kind are permitted at the performance; to ensure the safety of the animals and guests, children under 4 are NOT permitted at the festival; in the event of inclement weather, the show will go on unless travel bans are in effect; ticket sales are final. Late-comers may face extended seating delays due to the processions that occupy the aisles.
Synopsis of the AHCC Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival
The church is decorated as if for a great banquet. Upon entering, guests are greeted by a brass ensemble, a mime, a juggler, a magician, stilt walkers, a puppeteer, and jesters. These recall the Christmas entertainment provided by the Lord Mayor of London, where these festivities originated in the late 15thcentury and continue to this day. The festival begins as bagpipers catch our attention and we watch a traditional highland dance. A narrator provides background for the lighting of the Yule Log, which gives way to a grand procession of lords and ladies who await the arrival of the High King and Queen of the Realm, who enter with great fanfare and are accompanied by knights, and a student on horseback. Legend has it that in 1340, an Oxford student killed an attacking wild boar by stuffing a book by Aristotle in its mouth, thus choking it. In our festivities today, to celebrate and honor the student, he is invested as a knight into the Most Noble Order of the Asylum. A fanfare and singing herald announce the arrival of the boar’s head, symbolic of Christ’s triumph over evil, accompanied by the royal hunter and his attendants, full of pride. A great procession of cooks and staff follows, bringing forth a great feast. Then follow King Wenceslas and his page reminding us to help those in need, as they help welcome a peasant into the royal hall. The festival builds in intensity to a rousing rendition of Deck the Hall. The entrance of dancers, accompanied by a grand Gloria, signals a spiritual change as the manor hall becomes a great cathedral for the worship of the newborn King. We prepare ourselves for Epiphany as a small child brings a lighted candle into the darkened church, symbolizing the coming of the light of Christ. We witness the arrival of Mary and Joseph as we listen to the simple melodies of O Little Town of Bethlehemand Once in Royal David’s City. The shepherds, instructed by the angel, find the Holy Family, as the three kings arrive in majesty and splendor, bearing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. When “all mortal flesh” have assembled, they kneel in adoration – lords and servants, shepherds and kings – before the Lord of lords! As the church is darkened and the Epiphany star shines brightly, the Yule sprite returns, and together the child and a simple monk of the church lift up and carry forth Christ’s light to all people.
For iCal compatible calendars