Monday, January 14, 2013

A Happy Wassailing to you all!

After last year's dismal weather and apple crop yield, we felt it was only right that Sir Robert Geffery's School help us start off 2013 in the best way possible; yes, you've guessed it, with a proper olde wassail!

Wassailing refers to drinking (and singing) the health of trees in the hopes that they might better thrive.The purpose of wassailing is to awake the cider apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the autumn.

First we learnt the traditional Wassail Song:

Once word and tune perfect we headed off to the orchard to find one of the most traditional Cornish apple trees, King Byerd:

Mrs W with her 'Cup o' Cider' leading the children to the apple orchard

Heading to King Byerd (Cornwall's oldest apple tree)

The wassailing belief runs something like, "If you sing to your tree or flock you will encourage its growth"!

First we broke a bread and dipped it in some of Lantallack's cider. We put the bread in the tree and began to sing whilst some more cider was poured around the roots of the tree.

Even in the pouring rain, the little darlings sung their hearts out!

And ran around the tree banging drums and shaking tambourines to scare away the evil spirits!
In groups, the children then chanted the following:

Good apple tree
We wassail thee,
That thou may bud,
And that thou may blow,
And that thou may bear apples a new.
Hats full!
Caps full!
Three bushel barrels full!

Mrs W pouring cider on the tree as the children ran round shaking tambourines!

Then it was off back to the studio to stay making all things apple-like with clay!

Happy wassailing to you all!

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