Wassailing in Ryton

Community OrchardWhy don’t you come and join us for a wassailling event at the Ryton Community Orchard this weekend, Saturday 11th January. Initially meeting at the Blacksmith’s Arms at 6:00pm for a procession to the orchard at 6:30pm.
When I was asked to advertise this event on the website I thought “what is a wassail?”. So I looked it up.
Wikipedia was a good start, where it explains that ‘wassail‘ is from the old english “wæs hæl”, which means “be you healthy”, but more specifically that it relates to apples and cider. It seems that the purpose of ‘wassailing‘ is to awaken the apples trees and scare away the evil spirits, hence why the details of the event ask you to bring along anything that makes a noise.
Wassailing is a an English traditional ceremony that was most common in the southern cider producing counties of England that involves singing and drinking to the health of the apples trees for their forthcoming season and as such usually takes place as part of the Twelfth Night (after Christmas) celebrations.
The Project Britain website details a little more about wassailing and mentions it as one of many other Twelfth Night celebrations.
So, don your ceremonial hat (holly and/or ivy seems traditional) and bring something to make a noise with and join us at the Blacksmiths Arms this Saturday (11th January) at 6:00 pm for a very different yet traditional experience.

1 reply
  1. marcus
    marcus says:

    A fantastic evening was had by all. The procession from the Blacksmiths cleared all evil spirits as we progressed to the community orchard. The wassailing king watered the chosen apple tree with cider to ‘give something back’ for this years huge harvest of 17 fruits form 37 trees. The wassailing queen placed a piece of toast on the branch of the tree to encourage birds thus cycle of nature. We all shared in a prayer for a good harvest, sang and made merry with mulled cider.

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