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Boared to Death 

The world's homeliest mammal gets skewered for Christmas.

Back in the day in merry ol' England, the poor boar never got any respect. The ugly critter's street cred is just as rejected (nonexistent?) at today's Boar's Head and Yule Log Festival in downtown Cleveland. "In the Norman north of England, the wild boar was considered the personification of evil," (but isn't that considered street cred?) says Rebecca Wilson, the fest's spokeswoman. "The appearance of the slain boar at the English Christmas feast came to represent the victory of Christ over Satan."In the Cleveland version, a freeze-dried boar's head will work just fine. To make its wicked spirit go away, a parade of huntsmen will carry the skull on a platter, with a rug of its fur (I'd use hairy hide--boars are more typically viewed as hairy vs. furry) trailing behind. Then a group of kids will roll in a yule log and set it on fire to fend off the boar's evil. "Personal faults, mistakes, and bad choices were burned in the fire so the New Year would start fresh," says Wilson. The ritual runs from 3 to 5 this afternoon at Trinity Cathedral, 2230 Euclid Avenue. Admission is free. Call 216-771-3630 or visit www.trinitycathedral.org.
Sat., Dec. 29, 3-5 p.m., 2007

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