Villagers gather to perform ancient wassail in hope of fruitful year ahead
PUBLISHED: 08:25 22 January 2019 | UPDATED: 08:38 22 January 2019
Copyright © 2019 Celia Bartlett Photography. All rights reserved.
The ancient, pagan tradition of wassail, singing and making music and noise to ward off evil spirits took place at the Conservation Garden at Clarance House, Thaxted for the fourth year.
On Saturday, January 12, some 180 people enjoyed mulded cider and apple juice and took part in a ceremony to bless the trees.
The musicians included fiddler, Clare Wilde, with Sue Collins on the small accordion, Carol Wilkinson on the concertina and two guitarists, Mike Wilkinson and Melvyn Willin.
Wassail songs were sung and also the carol, The Holly and the Ivy.
The master of ceremonies was Daniel Fox who explained the traditions behind the Wassail and told a story.
One of the organisers, Anne Harding said: “Everyone seemed to enjoy it. There were lots of children there, which is lovely because this is something for the little ones to remember and think about in future years. We processes round the orchard and made a lot of noise to ward off the bad spirits.”
The garden will be open, free, to the public from March.