The wassail is an ancient tradition to ensure a good apple crop in the coming year. In centuries past, communities would gather at sunset, near the start of the year to “wassail” their apple trees.
The word wassail is derived from an Anglo-Saxon phrase meaning, “be of good health”. Wassailing was once a common tradition in apple growing areas, as much to bring people together in the depths of winter as to help the trees.
Following the folk tradition there will be a procession around the orchard with beating drums, rattling bells and firing guns through the branches to drive away evil spirits. Toast is hung in the branches for the good spirits and cider poured on the roots of the trees to bring a good crop in the coming year.
Storytelling and music is also part of a wassail gathering and we’ll be enjoying that at Norton too.
The event begins at 4pm, to set the scene for a lantern-lit procession to the museum orchard. Mulled cider and spiced apple juice will warm the wassailers. Bring along a lantern or torch if you have one.
The event takes place in the Medieval Undercroft and orchard at Norton Priory Museum, so please wrap up warm!
Places are limited. Please book in advance by calling 01928 569 895 or book online below.
This event is part of our Norton50 fundraising campaign, to mark 50 years since the first excavations. Your attendance will help support Norton Priory for the next 50 years.