In the cider-producing counties in the South West of England Wassailing is a traditional ceremony that commonly takes place on old twelfth night. The purpose of wassailing is to wake up the cider apple trees and scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit the following year. There are still many Wassails that take place in Somerset including those at Carhampton, Barrington Court and Glastonbury.
The Wassail at Frieze Hill Community Orchard is fast becoming one of the most important Wassails in the County. Our Lord of Misrule presides over the ceremony. The Wassail Royalty place cider soaked toast in the branches of the Wassail Tree and the crowd chants the rhyme above. Wassailers bring horns, drums, whistles, saucepan lids and hooters and make lots of noise to wake up the trees and scare away the demons. This is the bit the kids like the most - they can make as much noise as they like, and they do!
The event is free and all all are welcome - this is a great family event. WASSAIL 2019 features a Mummers Play performed by Taunton Thespians. The Big Noise Street Band will be performing and there will be the usual bonfire. Refreshments include freshly cooked banger baps (locally sourced sausages; veggie sausages available), home-made apple cake and mulled cider using cider from Taunton Cider.