On Tuesday 21st January, Farlington Belles, gathered around the School’s three apple trees to perform a traditional ‘wassail’, as part of their Morris dancing session.
They decorated the trees with bread soaked in apple juice, to attract birds to feed and rid the trees of pests. They poured apple juice around the roots, encouraging the trees to produce next year.
Wassailing is a traditional ceremony that involves singing and drinking the health of trees on Twelfth Night in the hope that they might better thrive. The purpose of wassailing is to awaken the apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the autumn.
The School’s Morris dancing side performed a wassail dance to the apple trees, culminating with a hullaballoo. The dance firms the tree’s roots against winter winds and the noise scares away evil spirits. This is a traditional ceremony that has been performed for over 1000 years. Afterwards, the girls all enjoyed a drink of apple juice and piece of delicious apple cake. They will all be looking at the trees to see what kind of harvest they produce next year!
Report and picture contributed by Farlington School.