Monday, 23 January 2012

Wassail

On Saturday evening Pickle-Lily and I went to the Wassail at the local cider farm with the guides.
The word Wassail is derived from two Anglo-Saxon words "waes" and "hael", meaning be of good health. The guides were first on the stage doing some African drumming.

Choosing the queen
There were also morris men, belly dancers, the mummers and local bands during the rest of the evening. After the drumming one of the guides is chosen to be the wassail queen - this is done by cake. A special apple cake is baked and cut up whoever gets the piece with the note in it it, is the queen. She wears her queenly outfit and a crown and is carried on her throne in a special procession to the oldest apple tree in the orchard.
The wassail queen on her throne
At the tree, traditional wassail songs are sung, there is much shouting and noise making and then the tree has toast pushed into the cracks and is sprinkled with cider. The wassail ceremony is at this time of year because the tree spirit is sleeping and needs to be awakened, which is why we sing and make lots of noise, this also helps to frighten away any evil spirits. The toast soaked in cider is an offering to the robins who are seen as good spirits. The wassailing ceremony has been going on for hundreds and hundreds of years, and can be regarded as a thanksgiving to the apple trees and hoping for a good harvest during the coming year.
The mummers fantastic costumes

Toasting the tree

Sorry about the photo quality, but we were on the move a lot, it was dark and there was over 400 people there! At the end of the wassail the guides went home and the merriment went on long into the evening!
raaah!
For Handmade Monday this week - thank-you Wendy, and Creative Me - thank-you Jenny, I would like to offer dinosaurs ...
I have been busy making these for all the little boys out there either in self striping yarn or more sedate colours! Why not pop over to all those other fabulous blogs and have a look!
Jo x

19 comments:

Wendy said...

Sounds like a lot of fun! Love the dinosaurs!

CHRISTMAS PIE CRAFTS said...

Looks like a really great time had by all. Great dinosaurs. Hope you have a good week.

Caroline Nash said...

A fun day and old traditions are sometimes the best. Love the dino's

Ros Made Me said...

I love the old wassail customs... friends of mine host a play in their street, complete with St George and the dragon... and each year a different apple tree is treated to the cider!

Kat Shenton said...

Sound like everyone had a fun time out! Certainly looks that way even if it does look a little chilly ;)

The dinos are really sweet! Something I think I may need to look into purchasing once my pocket has recovered from Christmas. I could team them up with my collection of weird and wonderful knitted items - think they may take over the world one day. Or at least my craft area!

Jam Dalory said...

Looks like everyone had a great time, and its definately something different. The dinosaurs look great. x

Your Friend Susie said...

How fun to hear about the tradition! This must go back to the very early times of the British Isles? So interesting (since some of my ancestors came from thereabouts). Thank you for sharing all of that!
BTW love your dinosaurs and you have given me an idea of something perhaps make with some old sweaters, that are boylike. I have a step-grandson and I don't make enough things for him. I did send him the sweater snake I made, but I bet he would also love dinosaurs! Bless you for that! I love your dinosaurs, they are just cute cute cute (but in a very ferocious way!)

Ali said...

Sounds like you all had a great time. Loving your dinosaurs!

Ali x

itsamistry said...

oh wow sounds like such a fun night and I love traditions like that. Cute dinosaurs.

Penny said...

Wow! LOVE the dinosaurs! Also just to let you know I've nominated you for the Leibster blog award. Check out Planet Penny in a while to find out more!

Stephen @ Soy of the North said...

Really like the dinosaurs. Do you think maybe the real dinosaurs from long ago were the same colours? :-D

Annie said...

Hello :D Just found you via Planet Penny. Congratulations on the blog award she has given you, and me!

Trust a Somerset girl's ears to prick at the mention of a cider farm ... looks like you had fun :D

Picto said...

It's great that some of these old old traditions are still celebrated, so many have been left by the wayside. It certainly looks like everyone had a great time. Love the 'drumming' photo

Jan x

mcrafts said...

Looks like it was a great night. The little dino's are so cute. Mich x

Bobleyboo said...

Aww so cute <3

Kim xx

Picto said...

I've finally managed to get my post about you giving me the Liebster Award, I just need to finish off the one showing what I'm doing with my givaway :0)

Jan x

The Bathtime Team said...

Hi!
I couldn't get the email to work on your blog. You left a message at Bath Bomb Creations... it's four seasons village. Very helpful company. Be grt if you could say they were recommended by us. Might bode well lol!
We have a animal theme linky on the 1st so hope you join.
Have a good weekend,
Lesley

Helen said...

How cool. They resurrected the wassailing tradition in the village where I grew up just after I moved away from home - typical! It was the village where they made Whiteways cider and the factory was right next to our primary school - people think it is strange when I says the smell of cider reminds me of school!

Cuckoo said...

Would you just LOOK at those dinosaurs! I love 'em. You are a clever knitter!

xxx