Wassail 2018

Join us for our second Wassail at the St Ives Community Orchard. From 3pm on Sunday 14th January. 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. Event starts at 3 but you're welcome to come earlier if you'd like to help build the bonfire. 

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.

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. 
Click here to see our very first wassail in 2017 

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 

Wassailing Song

The song we shall sing.

St Ives Orchard Wassail 2017

Last year's event.

Dancing at the Wassail

It would be great to do this dance around a tree

Here we come a Wassailing son

This would also be a good one to sing