Wassail

Wassail posterHistory was made on 17th January when this first Wassail in living memory was held in the area.  It was a celebration of the creation of Holcombe Community Orchard in 2012 year, the Jubilee year, and a festival of future fertility of the orchard.  There was music, song, verse, dance and a healthy helping of mulled cider and wassail cakes.  Here is a selection of the verse used in the ceremony:

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History:

Beowulf:
Waes this hal.
The rider sleepeth,
the hero far-hidden,
no harp resounds,
in the courts no wassail,
as once was heard.

Herrick:
Wassail the trees that they my bear
you many a plum and many a pear.
For more or less fruit they may bring
as you do give them wassailing.

Song:

Here we come a-wassailing
among the leaves so green.
Here we come a-wandering,
so fair to be seen.

Love and joy come to you
and to you come wassail too
and we wish you and send you
a happy new year.
And we send you a happy new year.

Bud and blossom, bud and blossom,
bud and bloom and bear,
so we may have plenty
of cider all next year.

Invocation:

Old apple tree we wassail thee and hope that thou wilt bear.
The Lord doth know where we shall be till apples come another year.
To bloom well and to bear well, so merry let us be;
let every man take off his hat and shout to the old apple tree.

Old apple tree we wassail thee and hope that thou wilt bear
hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full
and a little heap under the stair.

Hip, hip, hooray!
Hip, hip, hooray!
Hip, hip, hooray!

(Lots of noise, banging and rattling of pots and pans.  The the following verse is said whilst the trees are blessed in the time-honoured manner)

To blow well and to bear well,
so merry let us be.
Let everyone drink up his cup,
here’s health to the apple tree.

CONNECTIONS:

Wassail Tradition
Holcombe Community Orchard

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