Following the announcement of another national lockdown, craft cider producer Harry’s Cider Company has launched a DIY Wassail kit, encouraging people to get out into their gardens this month and hold their own personal wassail ceremonies.
Traditionally held on 17 January, “Old Twelvey Night”, the wassail ceremony involves blessing the orchards, waking up the apple trees from their slumber and scaring away any evil spirits in order to ensure a healthy crop.
Originally Harry’s Cider had been planning to host a series of small bespoke wassail ceremonies in their orchards for groups of up to five people but, with Somerset moving first into Tier 4 and then a few days later into a national lockdown, these plans had to be cancelled.
Now their new DIY Wassail kit will enable people to experience this ancient pagan tradition within their own gardens. The kit includes a step-by-step guide to holding your own wassail ceremony; printed copies of the words to the wassail carol and shout; a bottle of Harry’s Original Cider; a flagon of Harry’s Mulled Cider; and two mulled cider glasses.
Alison Chapman from Harry’s Cider Company says, “In previous years our annual wassails have been well-supported and great fun. Rather than throwing in the towel altogether this year, we thought it’d be a nice opportunity to encourage even more people to get involved in this ancient tradition – something that is still very much alive across our rural counties.
“Whether or not you have an apple tree in your garden, it’s an evening’s entertainment that anyone can get involved with. Let’s face it, we’re all keen to ward off any evil spirits this year and hope that spring yields a good crop, in whatever shape or form that may be!”
The DIY Wassail kit can be purchased on the Harry’s Cider website and costs £25 including free delivery. It is also available from the Harry’s Cider farm in Long Sutton, with customers advised to check the current opening times on the Harry’s Cider website before visiting. Anyone coming to the farm is required to wear a face covering and follow social distancing guidelines. More information can be found at www.harryscidercompany.co.uk.