Calling all Llantwit’s potential Wassailers for an afternoon of merriment on Sunday 10th February (later than normal due to the the wet winter weather).
‘Waes Hail’ means “Good Health”, and “wassailing” refers to a traditional ceremony, singing and drinking the health of trees in hope that they will thrive. According to Wikipaedia “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.”
Llantwit’s Wassailers will process around the town’s apple trees, singing some of the beautiful Wassail songs (song sheets will be provided). Traditionally, toast is soaked in cider and hung in the boughs of the tree “for the robins, who represent the ‘good spirits’ of the tree.”
Then an incantation is usually recited such as:
Old Apple tree, old apple tree;
We’ve come to wassail thee;
To bear and to bow apples enow;
Hats full, caps full, three bushel bags full;
Barn floors full and a little heap under the stairs.
Wassailing will start at 2.00 pm at the Transition Llantwit Orchard, behind the Scout Hut, halfway along the lane to Hill Head. Afterwards we will visit as many apple trees as can be easily walked to in the afternoon. When we run out of daylight, we’ll adjourn to the Old Swan (to warm up!) If you play an instrument, bring it along. Also bring along any bells, and things to shake.
All are welcome to join the band of Wassailers: you don’t have to be an amazing singer, just enthusiastic! For more information, or if you have a tree that you wish to encourage, call 07804 624795. If the weather is terrible, ring this number to check what’s happening.