We have lots of trees here on the farm, including an orchard of apple trees. Twelfth Night – 6th January – is often associated with Wassailing, as well as Epiphany and a rather good play by Shakespeare.
Wassailing is an ancient tradition that has roots dating back to the 8th Century. The word wassail is derived from the Anglo Saxon ‘wes hal’ meaning ‘be whole’, or as we would say today, ‘good health’.
At this time of year, midwinter, it is hard to imagine the year ahead. It is easy to see how important it was to bless an apple tree with cider & bread. A song would be sung to encourage it back into life in the Spring and to bring a good harvest of fruit in the year to come. Get googling and see if you can find an event nearby to join in, as this tradition is still followed today. Alas no event at the farm this time – but we can still raise a virtual glass of juice from our apple trees and shout ‘Wassail!’ – Good health to all who visit the farm, and blessings for good harvest in our busy lives for 2019.