Our first Wassailing event took place on Saturday January 6th at dusk to ensure a bountiful harvest. Wassail! Drinc Hael!
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. Eighty people joined us to serenade and praise the trees , helped by the vocal talents of the Fleetville Harmony singing group.
We then created as much noise as possible to scare off the evil spirits. before hanging pieces of toast soaked in cider in the Cell Barnes orchard to attract the good spirits or in reality for the robin, a friendly spirit which would protect the trees (when it recovered from its hangover) before finishing with a rousing chorus of the wassailing song.
Our thanks to Colney Heath Parish Council for sponsoring the event.