Our second Wassailing event, to serenade and praise the trees in the Cell Barnes orchard ensuring a bountiful apple harvest for 2019, will take place on Saturday 5th January at 4.30pm, meeting at the Visitor Centre, please join us. 

Decorate yourself with some ivy, leaves and feathers. Bring along something to make a noise like a musical instrument or a pot and spoon and a torch, appropriate clothing and footwear. We will be helped along by the vocal talents of the Fleetville Harmony singing group.

The word ‘Wassail’ is derived from the Old Norse ‘Ves heill’, from whence came the Old English salutation ‘Wes Hal’, meaning ‘Be In Good Health’.  The correct response is “Drinc hael. ‘I drink to your health.

The ceremony is intended to begin the process of waking the fruit trees from their winter slumber and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn. We will make as much noise as possible to scare off the evil spirits before hanging pieces of toast soaked in the orchard to attract the good spirits or in reality for the robin, a friendly spirit which would protect the trees  before finishing with a rousing chorus of the wassailing song.

Wassail! Drinc Hael!

Our thanks to Colney Heath Parish Council for sponsoring the event.