The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #9728   Message #63793
Posted By: ADeane
17-Mar-99 - 02:51 PM
Thread Name: Wassail ? What is it ...
Subject: RE: Wassail ? What is it ...
Living as we do on the borders of Somerset and Devon I can assure everyone that wassailing is still practised here. It is traditionally held on 17th January, the old New Year's Day. It is irretrievably linked with cider orchards where toast is put in the branches of the apple trees and shotguns are fired over the trees to frighten the evil spirits away. Originally the wassailing was meant to ensure a good crop for the following year. The Morris Men in these parts also have a wassail dance and sing the Apple Tree Wassail as part of the dance. Wassailing should not be linked to Christmas as the two are quite separate. Also wassailing is a very good excuse to have a sesion in the pub afterwards! Hope this throws a little more light on the matter. ADeane in Devon UK