This January we teamed up with Heartwood Chorus for our first Wassail. Heartwood ran a free singing workshop in the beautiful Canopy space, open to everyone who’d like to learn the Apple Wassail song. Lyric sheets were provided and people just enjoyed singing to tune!
We welcomed everyone, all ages, all abilities, all voices: no experience necessary. The Wassail is a folk tradition and isn’t a polished thing, people believe singing is something to take part in, not just to listen to. Everyone who came was encouraged to have a go!
Following the singing workshop, we took part in the wassail ritual. Pouring cider on the roots of the apple trees, chanting, singing, and banging pots and pans to ward off evil spirits. Wassailing is a Twelfth Night tradition that has been practiced in England for centuries. An old English folk tradition, where we bless our little apple trees so that they have plentiful harvests in the future. It has its roots in a pagan custom of visiting orchards to sing to the trees and spirits in the hope of ensuring a good harvest the following season. Brightly coloured clothes are encouraged!
We enjoyed lovely homemade mulled apple and mulled cider to toast our first Wassail. We hope that the apple trees we blessed will grow into mature trees and bear fruit for the community for many years to come. See you next year!