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You are warmly invited to take part in this traditional community event happening in Dartington, Devon, at 2pm on Saturday 3rd February 2024.
‘Wassail’ is an old mediaeval salutation meaning ‘Be of good health’ and was often used as a drinking toast.
Wassailing is an ancient British folk custom that has been recorded since at least 1486, it is one of 2 things: either a house-visiting ritual like carol-singing or an Orchard-blessing ritual. ( Both involved drinking cheerily! )
This community orchard is a thriving place which was established in 2013 and now has over 150 young trees.
We, the orchard members welcome you to join us, to bless the trees in the time-honoured way, to bring abundant fruitfulness in the coming year!
We’ll gather round a roaring fire, have a procession around the trees with all manner of implements and instruments ( bring something to bang, clang, rattle or toot!) to ‘drive away the evil spirits’ and then bless the trees with toast, singing and sprinkled cider.
Everyone is invited to join in with singing 3 traditional wassailing songs, which will be taught by ear by Selena Mara.
Then hot spiced cider and apple juice will be served from the Wassail Bowl to warm you and bring you good cheer! Please feel free to dress up in wacky outfits and facepaint!
All ages are welcome.
It's free entry but please bring cash for cakes and hot drinks.
There is no need to book for this event, just turn up. It runs from 2-4pm and the Wassail itself will be quite short so don't be late!
Location: Huxhams Cross Community orchard is by Huxhams Cross housing cluster, just off the A385, at the top of the hill between Dartington village and the South Devon Steiner School. It is walking or cycling distance from Totnes and Dartington. The buses 165 and 88 stop here.
If you do need to drive here, PLEASE PARK AT DARTINGTON CIDER PRESS CENTRE (free for 3 hours) . From there it's about a 15 minute walk uphill through the woods.
‘For ‘tis your wassail, and ‘tis our wassail, and joy be to you and a jolly wassail’ 🎵
‘ Young apple trees we wassail thee, and hoping thou wilt bear
For the Earth doth know where we may be ‘til apples another year
For to bloom well and to bear well, so merry let us be
Let everyone take up their cup and drink to the young apple trees’ 🎶
The Carhampton Wassail song, adapted.
Feel free to follow our Facebook Page: Huxhams Cross Community Orchard
There is a wonderful array of different Wassail folk songs which have been collected over the last 170 years from all around the country, and Selena Mara is delighted to share 3 of them with you at this event.
We look forward to seeing you on the day! If you have any queries, please contact Selena on 01803-365005, the lines are open Monday-Friday, 9am-6pm, or firstname.lastname@example.org
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