A New Seasonal Tradition?
Glastonbury has an ever-growing calendar of seasonal celebrations, but there is one event that is guaranteed to bring everyone, from the born and bred local to the newest incomer, together in joy and merriment. That is the yearly ritual of mocking the Town’s Christmas Tree. Each year, when the tree is erected in the days before Frost Fayre, the townspeople can be heard complaining that the tree is too tall, too small, too slim, too uneven, too wonky, too sparse or just too crap. The first tree disappears, only to be replaced with another, even then, rarely are the good people of Glastonbury satisfied. In 2021 we did end up with a nice tree, only it fell down in the storm on the night before Frost Fayre, and spent the event prone and forlorn, although it did provide quite a good shelter from the bitter wind for the Brass Band.
I think that for 2023 Glastonbury should make a day of it, with music, dance and rituals, so I’m proposing the following schedule for the event:
Mocking of the Glastonbury Christmas Tree Ceremony 2023
To take place on Friday 24th November 2023, the day before Frost Fayre, we should be on tree 2 or 3 by then.
11am The entire Market Cross to be sealed off with pedestrian barriers and hazard tape
11.30am pedestrian barriers and hazard tape to be taken down to facilitate admission of a hog roast stall and raw vegan smoothie bar. Pedestrian barrier to be left in a large pile to present the maximum trip hazard.
11.45am Town Crier to announce the opening of the event.
Noon – Opening Speeches by important people in big hats praising the Town’s magnificent erection
12.30pm Glastonbury Morris will perform the (soon to be) traditional ‘Mocking the Christmas Tree Dance’
1pm A totally unrehearsed rendition of “O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree” by Glastonbury’s Accordion, Banjo and Kazoo Orchestra, accompanied by the Town’s official Bagpiper.
1.15pm Blessing of the Christmas Tree with menstrual blood by Priestess ‘Avalonia Starseed Unicorn of Glastonbury’, accompanied by everyone who has recently arrived in town but knows exactly what the place needs to ‘sort out the energy’.
1.30pm Rival Druid Orders traditional Yuletide Punch-Up
2pm All of Glastonbury‘s drumming groups to perform at once in a ‘Drum Off’, to demonstrate once and for all which drums are the loudest and most annoying.
1.45 pm A speech by Glastonbury’s newest representative of the Church of England on how much Jesus liked trees and how young people should go to Church because it’s actually pretty cool
2.30pm All to assemble in a circle, holding hands, taking turns to bless the Christmas Tree with appropriate phrases, such as: “It’s a bit bloody small”, “Where’s the other half?”. “Is this the second or the third tree so far”, “How much did that cost? Bloody waste of money”, “It’s half dead!”, “Why do they do the lights vertically? It looks rubbish!” and “Why is the top broken off?”
3pm Procession to depart the Market Cross heading for wherever they feel like going
3.30pm Three Hari Krishna devotees to process up and down the High Street chanting through a very loud PA system
5pm Anyone left to retire to the George and Pilgrim Inn for a warming glass of mead.
Hopefully, someone will think to buy the men who work for the Town Hall a round of beers, as they spend days putting up the tree(s) and lights and seem to be working flat out at every event in the town.
Plus more! Expect to see:
*Fifteen minutes of random, incoherent shouting, by a drunk man with a dog
*Evangelical preachers with megaphones
*Someone muttering that it’s actually a 5G Mast pretending to be a Christmas Tree
*A man with a ukelele who hasn’t realised he might actually make some money busking if he didn’t sound so bloody miserable
All times will be GMT – Glastonbury Maybe Time – expect significant delays
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
How stubby are thy branches
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
How wonky are thy branches
Your boughs, so green in Summer-time
Are looking rather brown
O Tannenbaum, O Christmas tree
How you do make us frown
Alternatively, if you’d like to know what’s really on in Glastonbury Town in 2023, see this post:
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