25th December, 2022

Glastonbury Thorn

Glastonbury ThornThe tree, Glastonbury Thorn always blooms on Christmas night, and its vitality is such that, when its twin stems are uprooted, even the castaway fragments flourish where they fall. In England, every year the Mayor of Glastonbury, Somerset and the vicar cuts sprays from the world famous Glastonbury Thorn, also known as "The Holy Thorn of Glastonbury". The glastonbury thorn legend ties in Christ's death as well as the celebration of his birth.


According to tradition, following the crucifixion of Jesus, St Joseph of Arimathea was driven from his home and began a journey of conversion. He traveled to Glastonbury in an attempt to bring Christianity to the Britons. Joseph was the owner of the tomb in which Jesus Christ's body lay from Good Friday till the third day, Easter.

Upon their arrival and tired from the journey, he and his 12 companions laid down to rest. As he did so, he thrust his staff into the hill. When he woke up, the staff had taken root and begun to grow. It flowers every Christmas and every spring. This became the site of the Glastonbury Abbey.

It is said that the original thorn was cut down by a Puritan soldier in 1653 and was blinded when struck in the eye by a splinter. Numerous other versions of the destruction exist. However, many cuttings were taken from it before its destruction. The current thorn on the grounds of Glastonbury Abbey is said to be a cutting from the original plant which was planted in secret after the original was destroyed. Botanically, the Glastonbury Thorn is a hawthorn, which usually blooms only in the spring.

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