All posts tagged: Events

On a winter’s evening in January, usually Old Christmas Eve (January 5), Twelfth night (January 6) or Old Twelfth night (January 17), about 200 townsfolk gather to play witness to a wassail ceremony, which resembles something out of a medieval Shakespearean play from what I’ve seen on the Internet.

“Wassail ceremony is a wonderful assault on winter dulled senses”, explains Norman Stanier, Vice-Chairman of The Big Apple and owner of Dragon Orchard. “It has noise, music, drums, procession, torchlight, fires, cider, roasted pig, songs, acting, and loud noises often of shotguns being fired.”

A wassail King and Queen lead a torch-held procession in song, from orchard to orchard. The wassail was important in the past when part of a labourer’s wage on a farm was paid in cider. Today, farmers who are motivated by superstition and tradition carry on the pagan ceremony.

All gathered around the tree before the fires are lit

After much dancing and singing, noise making and merriment, the evening culminates in gunshots to scare the evil spirits away, and the wassailers head back to the local pub for dancing, cider, and entertainment.

Here’s our pick of the UK’s best Wassail events in 2011:

All will usually provide hot food and drink available and a well stocked cider bar.


Apple Day is an annual celebration of apples and orchards, traditionally held on October 21 each year.

Apple Day was initiated by Common Ground in 1990 and has been celebrated in each subsequent year by people organizing hundreds of local events.

This is your chance to get involved, if you are new to cider and want to learn more about how it is made, what makes a good cider, or even grow your own cider apples, get yourself down to a local apple day over the next few weeks. The first apple day events started last weekend and run all the way through to the end of October at various location across the country.

Apple Day events can be large or small, from apple games in a garden to large village fairs.

It’s a great day for all the family, you will have the chance to press apples, taste the different varieties of apples, for cooking and cider making. Apple identification, gardening advice, and countryside games. Sometimes the events have yummy stalls with apple related foods, meats, cakes, jams and even cookery demonstrations.

Whichever one you choose, you’ll be guaranteed to see many hundreds of apple varieties and increase your knowledge and passion for everything appley.

View all our apple day events across the UK.

We’d love to hear how you got on!

Cider events are your chance to get up close and personal with your favourite ciders from around the country, as well as learning and tasting new types from new producers.

Cider Festivals

The calendar below is a combined list of Cider and Beer Festivals. Usually CAMRA events that allow you to taste a wide range of traditional real cider.

Cider & Beer Festival Calendar used with kind permission of aletalk