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ESBS Wassailing

Saturday 24th February. Quarry Farm, Bodiam.

Drumming, food, and drink From 6:00PM. Ceremony begins 6:30PM



About wassailing

Wassailing is an ancient ceremony intended to begin the process of waking the fruit trees from their winter slumber. The word wassail derives from the Old English words wæs (þu) hæl which means variously ‘be healthy’ or ‘be whole’. This is a traditional ceremony which seeks to start off the first stirrings of life in the land and to help it emerge from winter and to ensure that the next season’s crop of apples will be bountiful.

About the evening

Like the village bonfire night celebrations, the Ewhurst & Staplecross Bonfire Society aim to make this an entertaining and sociable community event suitable for the entire family based on this age-old tradition. Money raised from this and other fundraising events throughout the year allows the society to run the village bonfire and donate to a variety of local charities and good causes.

Parking is available at ‘The Hub’ which is accessed from the business park entrance just above Bodiam station. From the carpark, you will make your way along a torch-lit track through the orchards to a clearing where the celebrations will take place beside a roaring fire. There will be a good selection of food and drinks available, including – but by no means limited to – CIDER! The Hub café will be open throughout Everyone will be encouraged to join in with the ceremony which will include music, drumming, and generally making a lot of noise! The event is suitable for all ages; parents must be responsible for their children at all times. The celebrations will be held in a working orchard and will include a few loud bangs.

What to bring

  • Wellies and warm clothing
  • A torch
  • Old pots, pans, or anything you can bang, bash, or generally use to make a terrible racket!
  • Cash for food and drink; entry is free but we would encourage everyone to contribute to a collection towards bonfire society funds and event costs
  • The track is suitable for push-chairs


Spread The Word!

All are welcome so please download the Wassail Flyer A5 or Wassail Poster A4

Wassailing Chant:

Old apple tree we wassail thee
And hoping thou will bear
For the Lord doth know where we shall be
'Til apples come another year
For to bear well and to bloom well
So merry let us be
Let every man take off his hat
And shout to the old apple tree
Old apple tree we wassail thee
And hoping thou will bear
Hat fulls, cap fulls, three bushel bag fulls
And a little heap under the stairs!