HomeNewsHundreds flock to traditional wassailing ceremony at cider farm near Highbridge

Hundreds flock to traditional wassailing ceremony at cider farm near Highbridge

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Over 450 people headed to Rich’s Cider Farm in Watchfield, near Highbridge, last night (Saturday January 14th) when the tradition of Somerset wassailing returned.

A Wassail has its roots in pagan rituals, blessing apple trees out in the orchards for a good harvest. The ceremony welcomes the good spirits and scares away the unwanted spirits to try and keep the trees in good health throughout the coming year.

Cider-soaked burnt toast was placed onto the branches of an apple tree by the Wassail Queen Livia Haggett and cider was poured around the tree’s roots before shot guns were fired to scare away the bad spirits.

450 people attended the event at Rich’s Cider Farm as the event returned to its normal format.  Last year’s 2022 event at Rich’s Cider Farm was restricted in numbers due to Covid, as we featured here, and was the first following a break due to the pandemic.

Local band the Skimmity Hitchers led the entertainment afterwards, and the proceeds of the night went to Cancer Research UK.

The master of ceremonies at this year’s event was Paul Savage.

Jan Rich, the cider farm’s owner, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “As we celebrated all things cider on this winter’s night, we were raising much-needed funds for Cancer Research UK.”

”We’re proud to have raised over £100,000 for a wide range of charities over the past 15 years – giving back is another tradition we’re determined to keep up.”

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