Villagers go wassailing to secure good apple crop

PUBLISHED: 19:05 22 January 2017

The Somerset Morris doing a local Stave Dance from the early to mid-19th century. Picture: Jeremy Long.

The Somerset Morris doing a local Stave Dance from the early to mid-19th century. Picture: Jeremy Long.

(C)2016 Jeremy Long / JCLPhotography, all rights reserved

The ancient tradition of wassailing was held in Blagdon at the weekend in a bid to ensure the village’s orchards get a delicious crop of apples for cider-making.

The tradition sees villagers sing and dance to awaken the apple trees and scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit the following autumn.

Often crowds bang drums, sing and shout and, of course, drink cider. The ceremony in Blagdon on Saturday began with Morris dancing at the New Inn before villagers made their way to Eldred’s Orchard where they blessed the trees for the coming year.

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