THERE will be a traditional wassail in the heritage orchard at Avoncroft Museum next Sunday (January 10) to celebrate the cider apples.
This will be the first time in many years the venue has hosted a ceremony of this kind to awaken the apple trees and scare away evil spirits in the hope the orchard will thrive and produce lots of fruit in the autumn.
Wassailing is an ancient English tradition which dates back to medieval times and involves singing and drinking the health of the trees. It is usually associated with fruit-growing areas such as Worcestershire, Herefordshire and the West Country and was a celebration for the whole community.
From 11am, there will be traditional folk singing and dancing and audience participation is very much encouraged.
And from 11.45am, performing arts students from Coventry University will be putting on a mummers play at different times throughout the day.
The short lively play is typical of those performed in the Midlands since medieval times in exchange for refreshment.
Hot mulled cider will be on the menu and visitors can also help dress the apple trees, in preparation for the wassailing, and make their own willow work token – that, tradition has it, is supposed to bring luck for the year ahead.
Visit www.avoncroft.org.uk for more information.