January 21, 2009
Here in the SouthWest it's Wassailing time. Wassailing is a rural tradition that stretches back into the mists of time An ancient rite desiged to scare off bad spirits from the cider apple orchards and encrouge harmony and good harvests.
In darkness the wassailers gather among the apple trees and carry out the ancient ceremony. They hang cider soaked toast in the branches of the trees and pour cider around the base of the trees to feed and encourage birds to stay in the orchard and eat harmful insects and to nourish the roots of the trees. They then dance and sing traditional wassail songs and make merry with the help of a glass or two of cider , the noise being to frighten off evil spirits