Orchard Wassailing

Orchard Wassailing

Each January at the upper Heron Rocks heritage orchard the Friendship Centre holds a wassailing event. The word ‘wassail’ is Old English and means “be in good health”. The Orchard Wassail is the ancient practice of people going to sing to the apple trees to awaken them and ensure a good crop for the coming year. The “toast” for the trees really is toast, soaked in cider made from apples from those same trees! Each year a Wassail King or Queen dressed in royal attire and with musicians leads a procession around the apple trees chanting chanting to each tree:

Apple tree, apple tree,
We all come to wassail thee
May your future unfold
With health and strength and abundance untold

Then toast dipped in cider is left in the tree.

After every tree has been toasted, everyone gathers around the fire, sips cider and visits with friends.

A gallery of the Orchard Wassailing of 2009 & 2010.

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