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Wassail at a The Old Cheese Factory
Sunday 28th August 2015

Noon to 4pm

greenman

Morris

Choir

Crowd

Join Us In The Ancient Ceremony To Toast The Cider Gods, Chase Off Evil Spirits And Wake Up The Apple Trees To Ensure A Good Harvest.

Wassailing is the practice of thanking or appeasing the deity of the apple trees to ensure next year’s crop. The ritual retains something of the nature of sacrament despite its jollification.

Our celebrations include the lighting of the Ashen Faggot. This custom is considered to date back to Saxon times, however it is thought to have come from Scandinavia where at the feast of ‘joul’ would burn huge bonfires in honour of their god Thor. The faggot will be put on a fire that had been lit with the remnants of the previous years faggot. Everybody will then gather around the fire to watch it burn. Unmarried maidens can chose one of the green bands as it is believed that the woman who selected the first band it ignite and break would be the next to get married.

There is much singing and dancing culminating in a procession to the old apple tree where pieces of cider soaked toast are placed in the fork of the designated tree for the robins or guardian spirits of the tree. The tree is toasted with cider and any remainder is thrown into the branches. These offerings are accompanied by a wassail song lead by the Braidwood Cantors.

Here’s to the, old apple tree.
May’st thou bud, may’st they blow,
May’st thou bear apples now!
Hats full, caps full!
And my pockets full, too! Hazza!

The ceremony is concluded with a great deal of noise, horns are sounded, pots and trays are beaten with sticks, and a shot is fired over the tree to wake up the trees.

Food is served from noon, with entertainment throughout the afternoon, culminating with te wassail ceremony around 3.30pm.

© Sully Consultants Pty Ltd
The Old Cheese Factory, 92 Sawyers Ridge Road, Reidsdale, NSW 2622.

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