Wassail at Home

SATURDAY 16 JANUARY

#wassailathome

Take part in ancient tradition, at home!

What is wassailing?

Wassailing is a very ancient custom designed to bring communities together, to welcome in the new year, and to encourage a fruitful apple harvest.  It involves blessing the apple tree and warding off evil spirits. 

 

Different communities hold their own wassail in different ways and there’s no right or wrong approach, we've made a guide on things you might like to do at home.

To prepare...

Wassail in Baltonsborough, 2020

A homemade wassailing cape

Dress up! 

Greens, reds, dark browns, golds, yellows.

Anoint a chosen one (or two!) 

Anoint someone or some people to be your wassail King or Queen.  They’ll carry out some of the duties below.

Identify a tree. 

Make sure you have permission to use it!  Ideally this would be an apple tree of any age.  If you don't have an apple tree, consider another fruit tree. Or watch this great video for how to grow an apple tree from seed.

Toast some bread and soak it in apple juice or cider.   

This sounds odd but it’s essential.

To wassail...

Stand next to your chosen tree and warm up with liquid apple!  Everyone warms up with some cider, apple juice, cider brandy, etc.

Honour the tree! 

Everyone gives the tree a blessing.  See example words for a blessing below

Protect the tree! 

The King or Queen places the soaked toast on a branch or in the crook of a limb. 

Wake the tree up! Everyone sings.  

There are different versions of the lyrics and tune to the wassail song We love this one! And you can create your own (scroll down to see Nick Brace's version). 

Feed the tree!

The King or Queen pours a small amount of the liquid apple into the roots of the tree.


Ward off evil spirits! 

Everyone bangs pots and pans or plays musical instruments as loudly as they can.

Share with the community

Wassailing is an important community activity.  We’d love to encourage you to share photos or video of your home wassail with everyone else.  Use the hashtag #wassailathome on social media.

Send pictures between your family & friends.  Phone a loved one up and tell them what you’ve been doing - and how they can try it themselves.

@wassailtheatre

#wassailathome

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We love a good tree! Lovely Wassailers have been sharing photos of their trees.

A Wassail Blessing

Sing we again!

Nick White, Wassail's Artistic Director has written these words as an example of 

Health to thesee, good apple-tree

Well to bear, pocket-fulls, hat-fulls

Peck-fulls, bushel-bag fulls.

 

Here’s to thee, old apple tree

Whence thou may’st bud, and whence thou may’st blow,

And whence thou may’st bear apples enow

Hats full!  Caps full!

Bushel-bushel-sacks full,

And my pockets full, too, huzzah!

 

Stand fast, root!  Bear well, top!

Pray God send us a good howling crop:

Every twig, apples big;

Every bough, apples enow!

 

Wassail the trees, that they may bear

You many a plum and may a pear

For more or less fruits they will bring, 

As you do give them wassailing.

Nick Brace's has shared with us his version of the Wassail song - Sing We Again - for Wassailers to learn and sing to their trees if they wish.

Lyrics

Sing we again Wassail!

Sing we again Wassail!

Sing Wassail!

Sing Wassail!

Sing we again Wassail! 

Sing We Again (Round) Piano
Sing We Again (Tune) Piano

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