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College Christmas cards

23 November 2017

Our new Christmas card design depicts one of the College’s oldest and quirkiest traditions, the Boar’s Head Ceremony.

Legend has it that the Boar’s Head Ceremony commemorates the killing of a boar by fourteenth century Queen’s student John Copcot who, while reading Aristotle in Shotover Forest, was attacked by the beast and forced to thrust the book down its throat exclaiming ‘swallow that if you can!’.  The boar, finding Aristotle too hard to digest, expired.

Traditionally held on Christmas Day when our students from the north of England were unable to make the then perilous journey home, the Boar’s Head Ceremony is now held on a Saturday just before Christmas and mainly attended by Old Members. 

A stuffed boar’s head is brought into the Dining Hall, the Chapel Choir sing the Boar’s Head Carol, the Steward provides holly, bay, and rosemary all painted gold for the Fellows to give to the assembled guests, and the chef provides a feast.

Purchase your cards online from the University of Oxford Shop:


queen's christmas card