Wassail!

Tied to the traditional end of Christmas festivities on Twelfth Night the Wassail has roots that almost certainly go back to pre-Christian times. And it’s still alive and well in the orchards along the Daffodil Line. So this year, why not see in the new year in unique and traditional fashion, and join the Wassail in Much Marcle.

wassailing in the apple orchards

Wassailing is a noisy, carousing event designed to scare off bad spirits from the orchards, and bring fertility to the trees for the coming season. 

Silurian Border Morrismen hold a popular annual Wassail at Westons Cider in Much Marcle in early January, this year Saturday 6th. 

It’s a very popular event, with all money raised going to support St Michael’s Hospice, so please book ahead: https://www.st-michaels-hospice.org.uk/event/the-wassail/

EF9RCK ‘Mari Lwyd’ or Grey Mare celebrations at Chepstow, Wales, UK, a Welsh midwinter tradition to celebrate the New Year.

There will be dancing followed by an atmospheric torchlight procession into ancient cider orchards where the wassailing ceremony with many of the traditional elements is held.  Children are given toast to offer to the robin, and you may see a Mari Lwyd or two, collecting for charity.

After the Ceremony of singing, carousing and general merriment there will be food, music and Mummers at the Scrumpy House. 

The popular event raises much-needed funds for St Michael’s Hospice at Bartestree – the 2023 total was £5,300.

“Weston’s apple crop relies on Silurian’s wassail every January,” boasts the ceremony’s Butler, Ian Craigan. “Without it the world would be a drier, duller place! And St Michael’s relies on local support too. We invite you to join us & share in a ceremony bursting with fire, poetry, weird gifts, ancient songs and lots of laughs.” 

When you go, please remember that there is darkness, mud, cold, and REAL fire involved – come prepared!

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