What a Boar

The love of pork never ceases. We bet that people in the 1300s loved bacon just as much as we do now. Not many of us celebrate that by serving a boar's head at our holiday dinner table, but annually for 671 years some of us have gone a little, well, hog wild. It's the Boar's Head Festival, the Christmas season's final celebration that brings tradition of music, dance, and food of medieval through contemporary England. The tradition originated in Oxford in 1340. As the story goes, a dutiful scholar was walking through the forest on his way to Christmas Midnight Mass. A ferocious boar charged at the man, whose only defense was a metal-bound book of Aristotle's philosophy, which he rammed into the wild beast's mouth, causing it to choke and die. Later that night, the boar's head was finely prepared and garnished and served for dinner, accompanied by carols to celebrate the feast. Tonight, a buffet featuring wassail, king's cake, and traditional meat and vegetable pies is provided before the performance. The music is supplied by San Francisco Renaissance Voices, featuring guest stars Phantom of the Opera soprano Susan Gundunas and Celtic harpist Diana Rowan.
Sat., Jan. 7, 7:30 p.m., 2012

 
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