Apple Wassail

Happy New Year! We hope you had a fabulous festive season.

We are planning to have our very first Apple Tree Wassail on Sun 15th Jan starting at 3pm. Come along to enjoy, and if you fancy, you can decorate yourself with some ivy, leaves & feathers & bring along something to make a noise, like a musical instrument or a pot & spoon. 

We are also going to have a work party on Sun 15th Jan 1.30am where we will be building the bonfire & perhaps making our leaf & willow headdresses in preparation for the event.

Drink, Eat, be merry, and wish our trees ‘Waes heal’ (good health)
Wassail the trees, that they may bear
Many a plum, and many a pear
For more or less fruits they will bring,
As you do give them wassailing. -Robert Herrick (1591-1674)

The Apple Wassail is a very old tradition practised in the apple orchards of southern England during the winter. The purpose of wassailing is to 'bless' the trees to produce a good harvest for the coming year and generally took place on Twelfth Night (January 5th), or sometimes on 17th January, known as Old Twelfth Night.

A great blog about wassailing on Trelissick National Trust blog and lovely illustration used on our poster by Sonia Hensler, thank you for letting us use it. 
More info on this blog too -  Awakening Nature with Wassails 

Ceremonies of each wassail vary from village to village but usually involve bonfires, singing, dancing & drinking mulled cider.
Generally the assembled crowd encircle the oldest tree in the orchard, and place a piece of toast soaked in mulled cider into the branches of the tree & pour cider on the roots.
Everyone then makes as much noise as they can with musical instruments and pots & pans to ward off bad spirits from the orchard. Then the tree is serenaded with a special Wassail song.

Old apple tree we wassail thee
And hoping thou will bear
For the Lord doth know where we shall be
'Til apples come another year

For to bear well and to bloom well
So merry let us be
Let everyone take off their hats
And cry 'Health' to the old apple tree

Old apple tree we wassail thee
And hoping thou will bear
Hat fulls, cap fulls, three bushel bag fulls
in a little heap under the stairs

Huzza Huzza

Love this word 'Huzza' - it's an old English word to express approval or delight - like Hooray

Hope to see you there

Wassail in St Ives

map4

Wassailing song

The song we shall sing.

Dancing at the Wassail

It would be great to do this dance around a tree

mm

Post written by: Elise Langley

2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Post-Wassail Post

  2. Pingback: Apple Wassail event – St Ives Community Orchard

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