Join us for a special Schools Wassail of our Orchards, an ancient tradition for blessing orchards to encourage a good apple harvest. The celebration involves crafting, music, dance, toast and Wassail Punch Suitable for all age groups, this FREE visit covers a range of NC subjects and is lots of FUN
The morning Wassail is especially for schools. Book early for your school to take part. There is space for up to 60 in the party including children and adults
Wassail, meaning ‘Good Health’, is a traditional celebration of Apple Orchards. It is held on twelfth night, which in the modern calendar is 5th January, but in the old calendar was 17th January. This is the twelfth day in the song 'The twelve Days of Christmas'. The first day is Christmas Day.
Wassailers wear crowns made from evergreen foliage, usually Ivy. We will be able to weave some Ivy crowns. This is followed by a parade through the orchards, singing and making a noise with drums or other objects, to frighten off any evil spirits who may be hiding among the branches, and to encourage a good crop of fruit later in the year. It reminds the trees that they need to awaken in spring too.
Toast is hung in the trees to encourage birds to come to eat bugs and insects that might harm the young fruits from forming properly.
Wassail punch is drunk to toast the orchards and is generally shared with the strongest tree in the orchard to encourage strong growth for all the trees.
You will have a chance to learn about Orchards and Wassailing, and to weave an Ivy crown then parade through the orchards, beating a drum, or similar noisy item, and perhaps singing a Wassail song that you have learned in the morning or beforehand in the school classroom.
You will then hang some toast in the trees for the birds and join in the Wassail toast, with some tasty warm Wassail Punch, to share with the trees.
A fun and educational morning covering a broad range of NC subjects including history, science, geography, maths, technology, sustainability, society, english language and literature, spirituality and more.
Suitable for all age groups.
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In most cases the visit will be free of charge.
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