All posts tagged: celebration

As well as Apple Days every Autumn, blossom events are a very special and seasonal way to celebrate orchards, apples and the coming Summer.

We’ve listed the top three blossom events on Real Cider for your friends and family to visit:

1) Big Apple Blossom Time, Saturday 1st – Sunday 2nd May 2010

Each May The Big Apple runs a competition for the craft cider and perry makers of the region (and beyond) to compete for the title of Cider Maker of the Year and Perry Maker of the Year. On the Sunday and Monday the public will be able to taste the entries and judge for themselves.

2) Orchard Pig at West Bradley Orchards near Glastonbury, Sunday, 1 May 2011

For a fourth consecutive year Orchard Pig, makers of speciality apple juices and ciders, will welcome visitors for a day of exploration and fun at the 50 acres that make up West Bradley Orchards, owned by Edward and Sally Clifton-Brown.

Pigs, cider and apple blossom – another treat on the Royal Wedding weekend!

West Bradley Orchards, Glastonbury, Somerset, BA6 8LT – Open 10.30 – 5.00

Enquiries to Orchard Pig 01458 851222

3) Farming and the Landscape Exhibition on 7 and 8 May 2011 at Neroche Hall

Orchards will feature in this event which is open to the public 10am to 5pm and light refreshments will be available  FREE daily.

The exhibition will have the theme of  farming today – from a County-wide perspective and, more locally, in the shadow of the Blackdowns, farming in living memory and farming in Victorian times.

Full directions to be venue are available on the Neroche Hall website Neroche Hall, Bickenhall, TA3 6TY

Happy blossom time!

Don’t forget to let us know if you have any other events you would like us to mention by leaving your comments below.

Also if you go to any blossom events please add your photos to our Real Cider Gallery

Wassailing is so ancient that putting a date on when it began has been lost in time.

Wassailing however has given birth to other customs such as carol singing, and wishing others good health when drinking.

The main purpose of wassailing is to perform a ceremony to protect the trees from evil and to make them bear a plentiful fruit crop in the coming year. The event involves lots of cider, singing, dancing and celebrating trees in orchards on the 12th night.

How to wassail your apple trees

The assembled company surround a tree and toasted bread, soaked in cider, is placed in the branches of the tree (supposedly for the robins). Cider is then poured into the roots of the tree.

Everyone sings to the tree:

Old apple tree we wassail thee and hoping thou wilt bear
For the Lord doth know where we may be ‘til apples another year
For to bloom well and to bear well so merry let us be
Let everyone take up their cup and drink to the old apple tree

Then everyone calls out to the tree:

Old apple tree we wassail thee and hoping thou wilt bear
Hatfuls, capfuls, three bushel bagfuls and a little heap under the stairs
Hip hi hooray!

Then a great noise is made, customarily with shotguns being fired through the branches of the tree. The wassail ceremony is very simple and short but feel free to add your own variations.

There’s a great seasonal recipe for making Mulled Cider recipe ideal for your wassail here.

More information on what happens at a Cider Wassail on the Daily Telegraph site, and at the National Association of Cider Makers.

Visit our events page for Cider events near you.