Wassailing (or Howling, as it’s known in Sussex) is the custom of blessing the apple trees and bee hives to ensure a bountiful crop in the forthcoming season. This year, the Brighton Mummers, a theatre group based at Coachwerks are leading the Howl – a family friendly event involving the recital of the old wassail words, the toasting of the trees and the waking of the roots through the use of banging pots and the firing of their home made cannon!

Wassailing 2011Starting at the community orchard behind the Sure Start, they’ll Howl the trees awake, then invite everyone to join them on the walk over the hill to the Old Orchard at Stanmer Park, where two children will be crowned King Bean and Queen Pea, and lead a torchlit procession to the Home Farm Orchard, where there will be more merriment, bonfire, hot spuds, music, singing and good times.

Children are invited to bring home made lanterns. All should bring warm waterproof clothes, sensible footwear and a torch. And don’t forget to bring a musical instrument or pots and pans to wake up the trees!

Programme: 4pm – meet at the orchard behind the Sure Start. 4:30pm – wassailing the trees followed by a night time walk over to Stanmer. 6pm – arrive at Stanmer (for those not joining us for the walk, meet us by the gates to Stanmer Nursery) followed by torchlit procession and bonfire. For more info contact Graeme on 275012 / wassmail@brightonmummers.co.uk

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