Haddenham

Haddenham Wassail 2019

Home » News » Haddenham Wassail 2019
David Lyons_Wassail 2019
wassailing_church times photo

Saturday 5th January saw the traditional Haddenham Wassail procession from Fort End up to Townsend Green and the community orchard. This year the group was led by a musician who played all the way from the bakery to the cider pots!

After being served with hot mulled cider and snacks the assembly visited several trees and to Wassail the trees. Children placed pieces of toast soaked in cider in the branches of the trees and a little cider was poured around the roots.

Then the traditional Wassail call was recited:

Here's to thee, old apple tree,
Whence thou mayst bud
And whence thou mayst blow!
And whence thou mayst bear apples now!
Hats full! Caps full! Bushel--bushel--sacks full,
And my pockets full too!
Huzza!

Autumn 2018 gave a good crop of fruit which some say was partly due to the hot summer, although others point out that last January we wassailed the trees 'good an proper..!'

Wassailing has seen a revival among some who recognise the importance of their natural assets, the soil and plants that sustain us and who value some ancient traditions that bring people together and build social capital.

Although some religious and secular groups reject Wassailing as a rather wacky pagan tradition, some Christians are more supportive. For example, CofE Bishop Brian Castle*, writing in the Church Times of the Wassailing tradition, states that "wassail ceremonies reveal a warm, even tender, partnership with creation. The apple tree is serenaded and respected."

Wassailing in some villages has been embraced by the local churches as Christianity has absorbed other pre-Christian traditions over the millennia.

Next year, 2020, the Haddenham Wassail will be held on Saturday 4th January: look out for details on Haddenham.net!

*Dr Brian Castle, formerly Bishop of Tonbridge, is an assistant bishop in Bath & Wells diocese, and a Fellow of Exeter University. His commentary in the Church Times can be read here.

Upper photo courtesy of Alasdair Wilcock, the lower image from Alamy/Church Times.

popular recent storiesAlso in the news

Martin Andrew Book Cover
Haddenham Webteam: Wed 21 Jul 12:00pm

Haddenham resident and prolific author, Martin Andrew, has just published another book. Read all about it here.Fans of CS Forester's novels — especially Flying Colours — and Ioan Gruffudd's portrayal of Horatio Hornblower will be in their element with this engaging true-life tale of a jaunt down the rivers Severn and Loire, the first a trial run and the latter a re-enactment of...

Scarecrow Cheque 2021
Haddenham Webteam: Wed 21 Jul 11:30am

The 6th annual Haddenham Scarecrow Festival held in June by the Haddenham Scout and Guide Association was a great success in more ways than one. There were over 100 incredible creations in this year's event, which were very much enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. The 2021 Festival was held in aid of the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity and the organisers set an ambitious target of...

Covid-19 Vaccine
Haddenham Webteam: Wed 21 Jul 11:00am

The Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust have notified us that Walk-in COVID vaccinations will be available at Stoke Mandeville Stadium every day throughout the rest of July.The centre can vaccinate up to 600 people a day. It is welcoming anyone aged 18 and over who needs a Pfizer first or second dose — please ensure you leave at least eight weeks between doses.Now, anyone qualifying who wants...