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This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

December 07, 1958 - Image 11

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1958-12-07

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

"UW MTVUGAN 1DAILY ~.u ikm ~ m~~

*ftaro

.7: as

Ancient Boar's Hea
Retained Through (

In medieval England each feast
during the Christmas season began
with a Boar's Head Procession.
As a signal to those who wereE
about to eat, trumpeters blew a
fanfare and the procession began.
Following the trumpeters were
musicians who provided music for
the feast.
Then came the master cook
carrying the piece de resistance-j
a giant boar's head decorated with
laurel and rosemary and with a
lemon in its mouth. Bringing up1

the rear were the huntsmen with
their boar spears and drawn fal-
chions and the pages with the
mustard.
Has Pagan Origins
Even though the boar's head
custom was practiced in a Chris-'
tian land, its origins, like many:
other Christmas customs, lie deep
in the pagan religion of the pre-
Christian era.
Before Christianity came to
England, the Druids who inhabited
the land killed a boar each 'winter

a~

d Custom
enturies
during the solstice which was to be
sacrificed to Freya, the goddess of
peace and plenty.
According to the Druid religion,
the goddess was supposed to ride
on a boar with golden bristles. The
Druids accomplished this by gild-
ing the boar with gold prior to
the sacrifice.
Gilded Boar Remained
The custom of gilding the boar
was so widespread that it carried
over into the English custom with-
out change and it was not a bit
uncommon for the boar to be gild-
ed before the procession.
Putting a lemon in the mouth of
the boar was also a Druid custom,
with the lemon being a symbol of
peace and plenty. The English
weren't as choosey as the Druids
as they very often substituted an
apple or an orange if they couldn't
find a spare lemon.
Unlike many traditions which
die out over a period of years,
the boar's head custom has sur-
vived to this day. During the last
century, Queen Victoria made a
point of having a boar's head pro-
cession during every Christmas
season.
Still Observe Custom
Although it is still the tradition
to observe the boar's head custom
in many noble English homes, the
observance is found mainly in
English schools and private schools
in this country which are con-
nected with the Church of Eng-
land.
One such school is Howe Mili-
tary School where the custom is
observed as close to the Christmas
holiday as possible.

HI HO THE MISTLETOE - A
carry-over from pagan days, this
ancient custom is still observsd.

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FEW REMAIN IN FAVOR: ~
" ~There is still 'ti
Gift Novelties Comet GoAKEt
Christmas gi
Certain items have made popu- dental-floss containers. Almost bright, some dark, and some madly
lar Christmas gifts almost as longbrgtsoedkadommdl
r as gift-giving has been an ac- anything could be obtained with patterned, in almost every girl's
cepted Christmas custom. the added touch of mink, fox, or stocking. And visions of hula hoops Yarncra h
Other gifts are wildly popular what-have-you., may well dance along side those of
for a season, then fade into obliv There'll be many, many pairs of sugar plums in every child's NO 2-0303 10 Nickels
ion. Few will remember even the long tights or leotards, some dreams. '- r
1957 "success stories." - -
1 5 "s cessois"Some have long since faded
from sight and memory. The Sput-
nik launchings flooded the toy
market with outer-space articles.
The comparatively old-f ashioned1Thinking aboutsfor Christm as
space helmet was remodeled to re-
semble the s atellites, s prouting
twin antennae from the top. Min-Mak-ng a list of wh atyou w ant
satellite launchers were found inMf
every department store Toyland
Other 1957 favorites seem des-
tined to be with us for many
Christmases to come. ThererwasHead tw ith
for example, the tiny new trans- _,
istor radio, which was remarkably
popular in spite of its awesome
price tag.
High Fashion Gifts"
The radical change in womens sRL IH
fashion was just beginning to take
hold, putting the sack, the che-
mise,, and all their variants high
on every girl's "I want" list. The to EU R OPI
Hawaiian Muu-Muu had its day,
largely disguised as a robe.
Fur trimming added a note of
gifts. It all began with the rage
for raccoon and other longhairs,
used everywhere from rugged
men's overcoats to frothy feminine
hats. Fur Trim Everywhere For more details attend the Mass Meeting at the
The decorative value of fur was
extended to the most unlikely Union, Wednesday night, December 10-7:30 P.M.
household articles, from can open-
+ ers to screwdrivers to 14-kh. gold
d in Legend for brilliant,ifting, irridescent crystal
ol of Peace jewelry. . .as bright as sunlight, yet soft as star-
light. . .the mark of elegance in gift-giving; blends
confined to the kitchen area for with any color. 54" rope, 12.00 - 2-strand ad just-
long. It invaded the parlor, spread s
to the living roomuntil today dur- a ble necklace, 8.00. the popular expansioin
ing the yuletide season, mistletoe
appears hanging ip almost every bracelet, 12.00. cluster or shower earrings, 4.00
doorway throughout the house.
Mistletoe has never had any
significance in France. But it does
grow there and it is known that
the larger part of the mistletoe
sold in England at Christmas time
comes from the orchards of Nor-
mandy.
Holly was employed by the ear-
ly Christians in Rome to celebrate
the festival of Saturnalia, which
occurs at the same season of the
1 year as Christmas.
Holly is used as a substitute for
mistletoe in the decking of
churches. It was once believed
that mistletoe in the church
prompted young ladies and gentle-
men to read the marriage services
-just for practice. Holly was used
in its place.
Mistletoe 'Poisonous'
In Scandinavian mythology, the
mistletoe figures as the material
of the arrow with which Balder,
the sun-god, was slain. So the
Scandinavians held that the berry
was poisonous. For' this reason,
too, it was excluded from part of
the church's decor to be replaced};
'by holly.. It
Today mistletoe functios not
only as a holiday ornament but
also as a reminder of the kissing
custom with holly still the favor-
ite evergreenfdrdecorating. -- - ---R---- --£'lS
r-- -- ---------

A,
t
' { . ..

BURNED IN PAGAN RITES:
Holly, Mistletoe Celebrate
1As Druid Sacrifice, Synb'

Regular Price $69.50
PURCHASE PRICE ......,..

58375

By BARBARA MORRIS
Although currently used only
as Christmas decorations, mistle-
toe and holly once were centers
of legendary and traditional lore
and mythology.
Botanically speaking, the
mistletoe is a parasite which
grows on evergeen trees. It has
two leaves and a small, yellowish
flower which changes into the
fruit of little, round, whitish ber-
ries.
Popularly, a young girl is kissed
standing beneath a sprig of
mistletoe.
Burned by Druid Priests
Use of the mistletoe can be
traced to the ancient Druids who
regarded it with reverence long
before the Christian era. In cele-

bration of the winter solstice, the
Druid priests gathered the mistle-
toe and b'urned it on the altar of
their god as a sacrifice.
Sprigs were also distributed
among the people to be hung
above door mantels. The plant
was regarded as a symbol of fu-
ture hope and peace.
Enemies Embraced
Whenever enemies met under it,
they would drop their arms, for-
get their enmities and embrace.
Back in the 17th century, the
English observed a procedure
where when a young man kissed a
girl under the mistletoe in the
kitchen, he plucked a berry, and
when the last berry was gone
ceased to kiss her.
The custom did not remain

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12

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