Pity the poor Bursar and Provost of Queen’s College Oxford; they have no chance to recover from New Year’s Eve before they find themselves engaged in the ancient Needle and Thread Ceremony.
Queen’s College Oxford
The college was founded in 1341 by Robert de Eglesfield and he provided for the Provost and twelve fellows all resplendent in red robes to signify the Blood of Christ to dine in the hall. The Provost has to sit in the middle of the diners who use only one side of the High Table, the idea being this echoes traditional images of the Last Supper. The Bursar then hands out a threaded needle; this acts as a memorial to the college’s founder. As the Needle and Thread Ceremony falls during holiday time not all the college members are in Oxford, but the Bursar hands over the needle and thread to those who remain there with the words; “Take this and be thrifty”.
Good advice after the expenses incurred during the Festive Season one might imagine.