Glaston Bury Thorn A symbol of growth

They say to say it with flower but thorns are no less expressive. It is true that the flowers are given preference but then the Glastonbury thorn stands apart in the long list of Christmas symbols and there is reason for awarding such importance to the plant. It is seen that Glastonbury thorn always blooms on the Christmas night and this is why it is considered as one of the most sacred symbols Christmas. But then this is not all but “Holy thorn of Glastonbury” has legend of itself.

The legend of Glastonbury…..

The legend of Glastonbury describes the period after the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It was during this time that St. Airmathea was compelled to leave his home and after that he began a journey with the aim of spreading Christianity in different parts of Europe. He arrived at Glastonbury and here a miracle was waiting for him and his twelve companions. They took shelter at one of the hills and St. Airmethea happened to throw his staff on the hill. The next morning they were amazed to find that it had already produced roots and was all set on the hill. Since then it blooms on every Christmas and on every spring. But it had to undergo the ravages of a Puritan soldier and was cut but the soldier was blinded and there in lies the mystery of the plant. But the plant survived the ravage because already it had spread to many parts and thus it was not possible to eradicate it completely. The legend also says that this very thorn was used for making the crown of thorns which was placed on the head of Jesus at time of crucifixion.
It is said that the plant present on the Glastonbury abbey is not the original one but has grown from a cutting of the original plant.

The vitality of the Glastonbury thorn..

The Glastonbury thorn is famous for its vitality. True, the plant flourishes even after its dual roots are uprooted and the plant never fails to bloom on the Christmas night.


The thorn carries an important symbol that irrespective of the condition Christianity would bloom and will be as enduring as the thorn itself. No form of invasion shall be able to restrict the growth of Christianity.
Since the incident of blooming of the thorn, Glastonbury has remained an important site of pilgrimage and it is customary to send a spring of the holy thorn to be sent to the king on the eve of Christmas and that should be placed on the royal table. This custom started from reign of James1 and is still followed.

Thus the Glastonbury thorns play an important role in the celebration of Christmas.