We will be going to at least 2 of theses venues …

Saturday 2nd January 7:30pm
Silurian Morris at the Slip Tavern in Much Marcle.
A torchlight procession to wassail a nearby orchard, then return to the Slip Tavern for dancing.

and the …

Sunday 17th January 2010

(Old Twelfth night) Foxwhelp Morris at the Yew Tree in Preston on Wye.
A torchlight procession to wassail a nearby orchard, then return to the Yew Tree for folk music and dancing. This is my local side, so I really want to be there :-).

I’d like to get to the Leominster = I love the Leominster men πŸ™‚ – do a Stoke Prior too but we will be stirring 3 Kings Prep that day and it depends how tired we are.

Wednesday 6th January 7:00pm
(Twelfth night) Leominster Morris at the Lamb Inn in Stoke Prior.
A torchlight procession to wassail a nearby orchard, then return to the Lamb Inn for dancing and Mummer play.

Wassail is one of our ancient feasts – especially in hereford Cider-Country. It is in my native Devon &
Somerset too. here’s more about it from http://www.ciderroute.co.uk/site/didu.html

Wassail Festival in Pembride Wassailing in the orchard Parading through the streets

The Wassailing Festival in Pembridge

Wassail

A traditional celebration to the goddess Pomona to encourage good fruit and a bountiful crop.
WASSAIL is from the old Anglo Saxon Was Hal meaning be of good health.

In the middle ages, the celebration was transfered from the drinker to the tree. It usually takes place on Old Christmas Eve (January 5th), Twelfth night (January 6th) or Old Twelfth night (January 17th).

The ceremony itself typically consists of the farmer’s family, workers and friends gathering in the orchard in the evening.They are armed with sticks and shotguns and carrying a bowl of cider with pieces of toast in it. The favoured vintage variety, oldest or highest yielding tree is chosen.
Then, everyone, in turn, eats a sop of toast and a piece is placed in a fork of the chosen tree to attract birds like the robin and the cider is then poured over the roots of the tree.

Libation follows from this, when the cider drinker tips his empty glass upside down to let the last few drops fall to earth. You can never spill your cider, you are only ever offering a libation to the goddess Pomona.

The whole company then dances round the tree, beating it at the base to dislodge insects, that the birds, attracted by the sop, then eat.

Hope we’ll see you at one or more of these – it’s a great evening out. 

Wye’s Women
Elen Sentier & Jennie Russell-Smith

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