Wassailing is an old custom that takes place on Old Twelfth Night (17 January) or thereabouts, to exhort apple trees to fruit well the following season.

Customs and songs differ from place to place. At many events cider is poured onto the roots and shots fired through the branches to ward off evil spirits. Warm cider is drunk and toast soaked in cider is placed in the branches for the robin. Wassail songs are sung. More information on Wassailing at Wikipedia.

Here are the listings for wassail events in 2010:

UK events

Cornwall

Devon

  • Wassail at Saltram Saturday, 16 January 2010. From 6pm until 8pm Plymouth Join the wardens and the Dartington Morris Men at the Saltram orchard to take part in the ancient custom of wassailing. Followed by mulled cider and apple cake. For up-to-date listings please visit nationaltrust.org.uk/events
  • Yarde Orchard Wassail Saturday, January 16th, 2010. From 18:30. Once again we will be holding a traditional orchard wassail which includes ceremony and music around the orchard followed by feasting and dancing in the cafe afterwards. 01805 601778 or e-mail to reserve tickets £8.50 adults £4.50 under 16s.
  • Occombe Orchard Wassailing at Occombe Farm Lantern workshop 3.30 – 4.30 pm; Preparation for procession and refreshments 4.30- 5.30pm. Procession 5.30pm. Cost: £3.50 per lantern.

East Sussex

  • Middle Farm Wassail Saturday 16th January 2010. 6pm onwards The National Collection of Cider & Perry, Middle Farm, West Firle, Lewes, BN8 6LJ. Under the auspices of Hunter’s Moon Morris the farmhouse orchard will be soundly wassailed, with accompanying indoor revelries, involving much music and dancing, drummers, mummers, hot victuals, a bar full of cider (mulled and otherwise) and local ales, and much good company. Free entry.

London

Somerset

  • Wassailing at Rich’s Saturday 16th January 2010. Richs Farmhouse Cider, Mill Farm, Highbridge, Watchfield, TA9 4RD. Tel: 01278 783651. This years Rich’s Cider Farm Wassail will be held in aid of Cystic Fibrosis and will feature the Mangled Wurzels and Fred Bloggs. Tickets £12.50 in advance including Stew and a mug of mulled cider. Bar until midnight. Cancelled due to bad weather – update 13/01/01
  • Wassail at Orchard Barns, Rooksbridge, Somerset. Saturday, January 16 from 6.30pm. Held at Orchard Barns on the A38 in Rooksbridge to ensure a good apple harvest the following year. A cider bar and a barbecue will be on offer and money raised will go to Great Ormond Street Hospital and the village’s Lights for Life charity. Tickets priced £5 and include a cup of mulled cider with bread and cheese and are available from 01934 750255.

Yorkshire

  • Chevin Wildlife Watch Group Wassail Sunday 10th January. Meet at The White House, Johnny Lane, Otley 10am to 12pm Contact Jenny Watts (Parks and Countryside, Ranger, Leeds City Council) on (0113) 237 5320.

Worcestershire

  • Wassail at the Fleece Inn, Saturday 16th January 2010 from 6.30pm. Singing, drinking & Morris dancing. Home mulled Plum Jerkum plus a hearty stew with crusty bread served around 9pm

International events

Canada

USA

We’d love to add more, do you know of any? Let us know and we’ll add it to these listings.