Our community orchard was certainly woken up from it’s winter slumber at it’s very first Wassail. Lovely to have so many people turn up for the event. Quite a sight to see especially when we all went weaving around the orchard in a long snake making lots of noise with instruments & pots & pans.
Adults and children got so involved with all the activities, hanging up wishes on the trees, building the massive bonfire, making head wreaths out of willow & leaves & enjoying the food & drink we had out for everyone to share.
After lighting the fire & making sure everyone had a cup of warm mulled cider for the toast, we then circled the largest apple tree we have in the orchard. It was great to have Alan Jones (arch Druid, mind reader, performer, radio presenter) & members of the Cornwall School of Mystery & Magic leading the ceremony with blessings & song, they certainly added a mystical air to the event. After we all sung the wassailing song (we had printed copies of the words for everyone) we then passed around the wassailing bowl to share the cider and dipped actual pieces of toast into the dregs of the cider to hang from the trees. All part of this old apple tree tradition! There was a lot of shouting ‘Huzzuh’ & ‘Good health to the trees’ and noise with our instruments to wake up the trees.
We were lucky that St Ives Cider donated us lots of their delicious ‘Montol’ ready made Mulled Cider for the event, it was enough to go around to everyone and we all enjoyed it including the trees. We had non-alcoholic cider for the children too.
We had a beautiful wooden Wassail bowl, hand made & donated by James Glastonbury which was used to pass around warm mulled cider to everyone.
£40 in donations were raised and we got a few new people who say they are keen to come help us look after the orchard, so that’s great. Maybe if we started advertising cider at our work parties more people would turn up!!
More info on ‘What’s a wassail’ – Read post by Cornwall School of Mystery & Magick