The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes hael’ which means ‘good health’.
Wassailling refers to the ancient custom of local communities visiting orchards, reciting incantations and singing to the trees to promote a good and bountiful harvest for the coming year.
Traditionally, the wassail takes place on Twelfth Night, which signals the end of Christmastide on 5th January. However some people continue the custom determined by the Julian calendar where Twelfth Night is celebrated on 17th January. Modern versions can take place at any point between these dates, so we at Offshoots are holding ours on Saturday 12th January.
Our event is due to start at 2.00pm. We will start by making foliage crowns for people to wear later. We will have mulled apple juice on the stove (unfortunately we cannot offer cider!). The sun is due to set about 4.15pm on 12th January. Just before dark we will walk around the garden to bless our orchard and wish them good health.
We are encouraging people to bring bells, whistles or drums to help us scare away the evil and harmful spirits with as much noise as possible!!
The event will end with a sing song of a Wassailing song, which may include “Old apple tree we wassail thee and hoping thou wilt bear”.
If you are coming to join us, please wear warm clothes and bring a torch as it may be dark when we leave the garden.
Contact Suzanne on 07764 244755 for information.