Wassailing is an ancient tradition that has roots dating back to the 8th Century. The word wassail is derived from the Anglo Saxon ‘wes hal’ meaning ‘be whole’, or as we would say today, ‘good health’.

Wassailing harks back to a time when rural communities had no knowledge of weather systems, climate patterns or fruit biennialism. Instead, their approach to ensuring a bountiful harvest in the forthcoming autumn was to appeal to the apple gods and goddesses, ward evil spirits from the orchards and attract benevolent insects and birds to the trees.