Christmas Feast for the Horses History

 

Nearly a century ago, the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals began the tradition of serving a Christmas Eve meal of grain, apples, carrots, and corn to the workhorses of Boston.  At that time, when horses were the main mode of transportation, and wagons clogged the city streets, animals were primarily viewed as a means to an end rather than companions as we view them today.

The MSPCA worked diligantly to promote kindness for all animals, and the Christmas Feast for Horses was a perfect example of this.  This "extravagant" meal was first served in Post Office Square in 1916, continuing until the 1950's when workhorses were replaced by the automobile.  News coverage of the Feast was provided in local periodicals, including the MSPCA's own newsletter, "Our Dumb Animals".  Below are listed several links to articles appearing in the newsletters over the years.

Christmas and the Horses February 1917

Christmas Tree for Horses February 1919

A Christmas Tree for Horses February 1919

The Horses' Christmas Tree Poem February 1928

For Horses at Christmas December 1933