With the revival of interest in traditional orchards and the growth of community orchards, wassailing is becoming part of the calendar once again and will be returning to Stamford this January.
Wassailing is an old custom originating in English cider making districts, and traditionally took place after dark on January 17, the ‘Old Twelfth Night’, but it could also occur on other days around Christmas and the New Year. The purpose of wassailing was to awaken the apple trees and, by scaring away evil spirits, to encourage them to fruit well the following season.
On Saturday, next week Stamford will hold a Wassailing event at Stamford Community Orchard (to be found at the end of Christ Church Close, off Green Lane. Come and join in the fun which will begin after the sunset, at 4.30pm.
Members of Woven Chords will be singing and there will be songs for all to join in. Local cider and apple juice will be on offer.
For more details, please contact 01780 484180 or visit the Stamford community Orchard Group’s website at scog.org.uk.
For those who want to get into the Wassailing spirit - here is one of the songs: “Old apple tree, we wassail thee, hoping thou wilt bear, hatsfuls, capsfuls, three bushel bagsfuls, and a little heap under the stairs and Hip Hip Hooray!”