‘Bonkers but brilliant’ wassailing ceremony held in St Albans park

PUBLISHED: 16:16 11 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:16 11 January 2019

The traditional wassailing ceremony in Highfield Park, St Albans. Picture: Highfield Park Trust

The traditional wassailing ceremony in Highfield Park, St Albans. Picture: Highfield Park Trust

Archant

A traditional wassailing ceremony was held in Highfield Park in St Albans to ensure a good harvest for the coming year.

The traditional wassailing ceremony in Highfield Park, St Albans. Picture: Highfield Park TrustThe traditional wassailing ceremony in Highfield Park, St Albans. Picture: Highfield Park Trust

Highfield Park Trust held the ceremony on twelfth night, Saturday, January 5, from 4.30pm to 6pm.

The folk custom of wassailing is intended to begin the process of waking fruit trees from their winter slumber and scaring away evil spirits to ensure next year’s crop of apples will be bountiful.

Members of the trust moved in a procession to the Cell Barnes orchard alongside residents and members of the singing group Fleetville Harmony, singing songs and banging pots and pans. The group lit sparklers and hung toasted bread dunked in cider into the apple trees as an incentive to friendly spirits to guard the trees.

Trustee Sarah Graham said: “Last year’s wassail was described as brilliant but bonkers, which has become our catchphrase for this event and we definitely upheld the tradition this year.”

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