Thursday, 1 February 2018

Wassailing at Oast Farm Buxted

We'd never heard of wassailing before we moved here.  You'll probably already know how much we love visiting Oast Farm shop & cafe and it's there we first heard about the wassail.  Until now, it's always clashed with Nik's weekend at work or the twins' nap time but this year we made it along and we loved it!


If, like us, you haven't heard of this ceremony before, it's basically a way to bless the orchard to ensure a good harvest come autumn.

The awesome Bob in his crown, excited to get wassailing



The event started off with the Spirimawgus Morris dancers in the farm car park - not the usual light and floaty type with hankies you may think of but dark and moody with bashing sticks and cool costumes, apparently called Border Morris - it was awesome!




There's a longer video of the dancing here too: https://youtu.be/yPatpjClmVg

After that, we all joined the torch-lit procession up to the orchard, singing along the way.  After the reverend blessed the trees, we all had to make as much noise as possible to scare away the bad spirits before the shotguns to really scare them away.  The twins had their shakers and we'd taken a pan lid and wooden spoon along as well.





There was more singing/chanting and hanging of cider soaked bread on the oldest tree where the Wassail queens were up in the boughs.




After that we headed back to the car park for chocolate tiffin, more dancing, the wassail bowl, apple cake and spiced apple juice or mulled cider.  Such a brilliant, different event, we all really enjoyed being part of it!




And of course Alex was their with her yummy Hurstwood Cider on the fire!








It was brilliant fun and we'll definitely be back next year, the twins might even be King & Queen of the wassail next time and be the ones standing up in the tree.  I loved learning more about these local traditions and customs and getting to join in!

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