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Holy Thorn cutting ceremony takes place on Friday

By Centralsomgaz  |  Posted: December 08, 2013

The Glastonbury Holy Thorn will be cut for The Queen on Friday, December 13

The Glastonbury Holy Thorn will be cut for The Queen on Friday, December 13

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A royal ceremony which began 400 years ago will take place next Friday.

Each December the eldest pupil of St John's Infant School joins the Mayor of Glastonbury for the cutting of the Holy Thorn.

According to the folklore of the town when Joseph of Arimethea first stepped foot on Glastonbury soil at Wearyall Hill his staff took root in the ground and sprouted the first Holy Thorn.

The tree flourished and over the centuries graftings were taken from the various trees to ensure the Holy Thorn's survival, even after it was cut down by Cromwellian troops.

Many believe it is a miracle that the tree flowers twice a year, including at Christmas, and it is said since the reign of King James I a cutting has been taken annually and forwarded to the monarch to adorn the festive table.

The ancient custom eventually died out but last century was resurrected and each year a sprig is still sent to the Queen as a festive gift.

How much of the story of Glastonbury's Holy Thorn is fact and how much is just myth will probably never be known but according to the many who attend the annual cutting of the tree, the tradition adds a special something to the town's festivities.

The ceremony will be on Friday December 13, at 10.30am.

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