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Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?

GUEST,vielleuse 06 Jan 12 - 07:21 AM
Will Fly 06 Jan 12 - 07:25 AM
GUEST 06 Jan 12 - 07:43 AM
Charmion 06 Jan 12 - 07:56 AM
Will Fly 06 Jan 12 - 07:57 AM
GUEST 06 Jan 12 - 08:20 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Jan 12 - 08:41 AM
SteveMansfield 06 Jan 12 - 09:02 AM
Phil Edwards 06 Jan 12 - 09:12 AM
doc.tom 06 Jan 12 - 09:12 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Jan 12 - 09:47 AM
Ross Campbell 06 Jan 12 - 10:44 AM
ClaireBear 06 Jan 12 - 12:46 PM
vielleuse 06 Jan 12 - 01:14 PM
Marje 07 Jan 12 - 03:50 AM
banjoman 07 Jan 12 - 06:57 AM
doc.tom 07 Jan 12 - 06:58 AM
GUEST,John Foxen 07 Jan 12 - 11:11 AM
Gy Morris man 07 Jan 12 - 11:58 AM
Marje 07 Jan 12 - 01:15 PM
Tradsinger 07 Jan 12 - 01:50 PM
Joe Offer 08 Jan 12 - 04:17 AM
Cats 08 Jan 12 - 05:05 AM
Gy Morris man 08 Jan 12 - 05:42 AM
GUEST,Susie 08 Jan 12 - 06:38 PM
Sian H 09 Jan 12 - 04:57 PM
keberoxu 08 Jan 17 - 11:51 AM
Sian H 11 Jan 17 - 06:05 PM
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Subject: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: GUEST,vielleuse
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 07:21 AM

I'm off to a session tonight and it's just dawned on me that today is the Feast of the Epiphany. Does this mean we should be wassailing or carrying out other customs and if so what?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 07:25 AM

Well, there'll be a good old wassail going on at the Elephant & Castle in Lewes tomorrow night, courtesy of the Lewes Saturday Folk Club - I'm certainly looking forward to it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 07:43 AM

Any practical suggestions for what to do?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Charmion
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 07:56 AM

Eat, drink and make merry, what else? You could also take down your festive greenery and burn it, and make some more merry.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Will Fly
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 07:57 AM

Mull some cider, sing, dance round apple trees and enjoy yourself.

We used to go each year to an orchard just down the road, in the mid-evening, and the owner would give is hot mulled cider and cakes, after which we walked round the trees, singing all the while.

Plenty of recipes for mulled cider/wine out there - and plenty of wassail songs to be found. Alas - the orchard has now been bought by an outsider, trees left to rot or grow wild, huge walls built around the property...


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 08:20 AM

I should point out that we will be in a pub in Brixton. Apple trees are in short supply and I'm not sure how keen the landlord would be on mulling cider for us.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 08:41 AM

Shotguns?

L in C#


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: SteveMansfield
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 09:02 AM

Wassailing shall certainly be in full force on Saturday evening in Cooksley, near Kidderminster (England) c/o Fox's Morris and friends.

Can't go myself this year for various reasons but Powderkegs will be well represented and it was a reet good do last year, not entirely due to nor unconnected to the fact that I drank more cider that one night than in the previous calendar year ...

Happy Old Christmas Day!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 09:12 AM

Remind me about the shotguns (in the context of wassailing, not Brixton!).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: doc.tom
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 09:12 AM

We'll be wassailing three orchards in Porlock before retiring to the Top Ship for the last mummers performance of the 2011/12 season - followed by a damn good music and song session.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 09:47 AM

Shotguns

Hi Phil, Dave Bishop was keen at looking into wassailing. I pointed out that a community orchard exists across the Mersey valley near Wythenshawe and someone unkindly said that that might be handy for sourcing said shotguns

Cheers

Les


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Ross Campbell
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 10:44 AM

From Lancaster's http://www.fairfieldassociation.org/latestnews.html news page:-

"Wassailing In Fairfield Millennium Orchard, Saturday January 14th 2012, 3pm – 5pm

Come and join us in this traditional celebration of Old Twelfth Night. Bring drums, pots and pans to bang and clatter as we process through the trees. Both young and old are invited to come dressed as the Oak King or the Apple Queen - we will draw lots to choose the sovereigns of the orchard. Traditional offerings of toast and cider to the trees. Passing of the Wassail Cup. Bonfire. Traditional Wassailing songs taught and performed. Suggested donation £1 per person. John O'Gaunt Morris. And this year we *absolutely will not* cancel whatever the weather!

The orchard is ten minutes walk from Lancaster's railway station (at the end of Sunnyside Lane)."

Ross


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: ClaireBear
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 12:46 PM

I and 50 or 60 other eccentric souls will be wassailing tomorrow in Sebastopol, California.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: vielleuse
Date: 06 Jan 12 - 01:14 PM

Ah! I knew I had a login somewhere. I keep trying to reply to this thread but my replies don't show up.#

I was going to make a lame crack about shotguns but my timing is all off now


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Marje
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 03:50 AM

In Sussex the wassailing of the apple trees is generally around the 6th Jan, but in Devon it's later (20th this year where I live). The reasoning behind this is that "Old Christhmas" is 5/6 January, and therefore Old Twelth Night is around the 17th/18th.

In my village there's a ceremony around the apple trees in the local orchard, with singing and lanterns, and a folk band (me and my mates) playing in a nearby hall. There's also morris dancing and a mummer's play, and storytelling. There are stalls selling local beer and local cider, mulled or plain, and pasties etc. It's run by the local primary school, and is very well attended (and usually very muddy).

Marje


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: banjoman
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 06:57 AM

Take down the Christmas decorations and the Christmas tree. Tradition says that they should be used on Shrove Tuesday to make up a fire to cook the pancakes on as a last "Feast" before Lent which starts the next day (Ash Wednesday) Accompany all with singing & drinking & feasting.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: doc.tom
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 06:58 AM

"Devon it's later" is a bit of a sweeping statement! Generally, all over the country, maintainers (or revivers) of the custom choose when to do it according to what suits them - whether its 'old' or 'new' 12th night - or a convenient Friday or Saturday in between. Does anyone know of an orchard wassail that has been continuous since before WW1 (when so much ceased) other than Carhampton?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: GUEST,John Foxen
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 11:11 AM

We'll be wassailing in Wales with the Widders on January 21 as part of the Mari Lwyd. Lots of morris dancing then a torchlight procession down the hills either side of the Wales-England border and a meeting of the English and Welsh morris sides on the bridge across the Wye. There'll be a ceilidh afterwards. Hope to see some Mudcatters there.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Gy Morris man
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 11:58 AM

We the grimsby morris men are doing our bit to keep up the tradition.
Tommorow the 8th we go to a local allotment, shout at their trees put cider soaked toast on them to encourage the birds.
We then display our prowess at dancing before adjourning to a local pub and dance once more. We then peform a plough play.
The following week the 15th we go to a local cyder maker. Namely the Skidbrooke cider company in the great county of lincolnshire,
We arrive aprox 11am and was-hael the trees dance and try some of last years product.
Then we go to the nearest pub being the Prussian Queen at Saltfleetby
on the B1200.
We then dance and perform the plough play for the last time this year.
Then in Grimsby morrises usual style we try and empty the pub by singing, mainly drinking songs and having a few tunes played.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Marje
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 01:15 PM

I stick by what I said: in Devon, the tradition (or at least the modern habit) is to hold the Wassail around the middle of January, on or close to the date of the Old Twelfth Night. Google for "Devon Wassail" if you want to see numerous examples of this.

I don't know (to answer doc Tom's other point) of a continuous tradition, though. The Wassails I've been involved in in Sussex and in Devon are both, as far as I know, revivals from about the 1970s.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Tradsinger
Date: 07 Jan 12 - 01:50 PM

I live in Gloucestershire, where the old wassail tradition was house-to-house and around Christmas and the New Year. A group of us recently put up a website of Gloucestershire Christmas material, including loads of wassails, plus background information on the custom in general and the custom in Gloucestershire in particular. Check it out. http://www.gloschristmas.com/.

Tradsinger


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Joe Offer
Date: 08 Jan 12 - 04:17 AM

Well, our church youth group served dinner to homeless people, and I did the invocation before dinner (they called me "pastor Joe"). I sang them this Epiphany classic:
    We three kings of Orient are,
    Smoking on a two-bit cigar
    It was loaded, it exploded...
    Boom!


Somebody said the song sounded like it came from an Irish pub. I said I learned it in Catholic school - same thing....

So I read the Epiphany story in the Gospel of Matthew, and had our youth group kids sing the real "We Three Kings" with me, and a good time was had by all.

-Joe-


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Cats
Date: 08 Jan 12 - 05:05 AM

We wassail in my hamlet next saturday ending up with a hot bring and share supper in my cottage followed by singing, music, mummers etc. if you are in Cornwall Pm me for directions


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Gy Morris man
Date: 08 Jan 12 - 05:42 AM

I remember the three kings as,

We three king from orient are,
One in a bus and one in a car,
One on a scooter blowing his hooter ,
Smoking a fat cigar.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: GUEST,Susie
Date: 08 Jan 12 - 06:38 PM

On 17th, Foxwhelp Morris and many friends will be wassailing at an orchard near the "Yew Tree" in Preston-on-Wye, east of Hay-on-Wye. This is always a really good do. Their own rather amazing mumming play [written by Jude, their fiddler], much singing, real ale, all after torchlight procession, bonfires. shotguns etc. In past years, wellies have been a good idea - the field entrance has been known to entrap the unwary. Thoroughly recommended.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Sian H
Date: 09 Jan 12 - 04:57 PM

There's a big wassail event open to the public at Middle Farm in Sussex, this Saturday evening 14th Jan. Between Lewes and Eastbourne.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: keberoxu
Date: 08 Jan 17 - 11:51 AM

Refresh anybody?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Epiphany! Should we be wassailing?
From: Sian H
Date: 11 Jan 17 - 06:05 PM

Sussex wassailing is still going strong. Rye Foreign near Rye was at the Royal Oak pub on the 7 th Jan, the Hastings Howlers wassailed Apple trees in a house to house tour on 28th Dec and Lewes Folk Club hold their wassail night on the 14th Jan this year. To name but a few...


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