The organiser of Brent Knoll’s popular wassailing ceremony says he hopes the traditional event can return in January 2022 after being halted this year by the Covid pandemic.

The centuries-old Somerset wassailing ceremony sees good health wished on apple crops for the coming year.

The wassail is celebrated each year around January 17th, known as ‘Old Twelvey Night’, as it would have been before the introduction of the Gregorian Calendar in 1752.

John Harris at Brent Knoll’s Westcroft Cider Farm told “Cancelling is unavoidable this year due to the Covid pandemic, but it’s such a great shame for the hundreds of people who usually come, and the local community groups that benefit. We’ve raised a lot for Brent Knoll Village Hall and the Primary School over the years.”

Rescheduling the event for later in the year isn’t viable, adds John: “The whole event is centered around January 17th – it’s a winter ceremony held in the cold and dark. It wouldn’t be the same in the summer – it would be like having Christmas in the summer.”

“I hope we can return next January with a great event. We’ve had record crowds the last two years and I hope we can bounce back in 2022.”

The night usually features a traditional orchard ceremony with music, gun shots, and burnt toast being placed in an apple tree.

The wassailing event at Watchfield Rich’s Cider Farm near Highbridge has also been cancelled and the farm’s Jan Scott says: “Unfortunately due to COVID-19 restrictions our Cider Wassail will not be taking place this year. We would like to thank everybody who has supported the event in the past and for their continued support during the pandemic.”

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