Wassailing will be back

PUBLISHED: 11:29 10 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:25 24 May 2010

THE ancient tradition of wassailing is to be brought back to life at a community orchard in Pill. The event, taking place on January 20, will see a lantern procession lead from the arches to the Ham Green orchard. When the parade reaches the orchard, whic

THE ancient tradition of wassailing is to be brought back to life at a community orchard in Pill.The event, taking place on January 20, will see a lantern procession lead from the arches to the Ham Green orchard.When the parade reaches the orchard, which was once part of the grounds of the former Ham Green Hospital, wassailing will be carried out in a bid to ensure a good crop of apples from the fruit trees.Work on the orchard has been carried out by a special working party over the last couple of years.The area has been cleared of scrub and the trees pruned to make the area a pleasant recreational facility for the local communities.Event organiser Liz Moore said: "This is the first time we have held such an event and hope it will become something of a village tradition."Wassailing is, I understand, a pagan tradition which is carried out to ensure the fertility of the orchard for the coming year. One of the things we are planning to do is a ceremony which involves putting a piece of toast soaked in cider into one of the trees."Another tradition is to pour cider around the trees to help with a good harvest."Traditional wassailing hymns and carols are to be performed by Pill Whalers at the event and it is hoped local schoolchildren will join the lantern procession and the activities.The lantern and torch procession starts at 5.30pm at the arches with activities taking place in the orchard until 7pm.For more details or offers of help contact Liz Moore on 01275 375091 or Gerry Hunt on 01275 372940.

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