The ancient ceremony of wassailing is a pagan ritual believed to have been practiced since Anglo-Saxon times. The word wassail meant ‘Be well’ in old English and the ceremony literally involved blessing the apple tree to encourage it to bear fruit.

The idea was to awaken the cider apple tree and scare away evil spirits by singing and shouting and generally making a bit of a racket. The ritual might seem a bit of an odd business today but it was once was thought of as simple good husbandry.

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