Tuesday 13 January 2009

Magical Wassail under a frosty full moon

Here are some pictures from the Wassail last Saturday night at Middle Farm, in Sussex.

The Wassail is a traditional blessing of the apple trees to ensure a bountiful harvest in the coming year. The annual event at Middle Farm, organised by Hunters Moon Morris, takes place each January and draws a huge and enthusiastic crowd.

Although the ceremony is pagan in tone, it attracts people from all walks of life and faiths, from the nearby countryside, from towns such as Brighton and even from as far away as London.

It was a perfect night to be out in the apple orchards by a roaring bonfire, with a full moon in the clear night sky and the trees and ground glistening with frost.

But the beautiful wintry landscape was far too cold to want to stay outside for very long. After singing traditional wassail songs around the fire, everyone was happy to retreat to a warm barn where mulled cider and hot apple juice were on sale.

Morris dancing displays were followed by a barn dance that everyone could join in. Dancing and drinking went on late into the evening and a great time was had by all.
For more information see the Hunters Moon Morris website: www.huntersmoonmorris.co.uk/ or contact 01323 769848. Middle Farm is at Firle, Lewes, East Sussex BN8 6LJ. For more information about Middle Farm, visit www.middlefarm.com/
To see my account of last year's Wassail, visit: www.badwitch.co.uk/2008/01/dancing-in-orchards.html
Exterior photography by Melanie Dymond Harper.


Anonymous said...

Hello again - I messaged you last year after the wassail!

Glad you enjoyed it, twas a fantastic night for it! I'm the morris dancer in blue in your pictures (Mythago).

Badwitch said...

I certainly did enjoy it. Those colourful costumes are fantastic, BTW!

Anonymous said...

Pleased you liked the coloured costumes as my blue one took over 20 hours of sewing! My partner was in the red one, but his took a lot longer as he's a slower sewer - we did them whilst on holiday on Exmoor last October.

Anonymous said...

Delighted you enjoyed it, I agree It was quite special with the full moon and the heavy frost
Simon (Hunters Moon)

Anonymous said...

Looks like lots of fun! I especially love the costumes. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for a brilliant write up again badwitch.I am glad you enjoyed it, as the other 450+ people seemed to.
Makes the hard work worth it and more rewarding than the day job.
Hunters Moon's Squeezer

Hope you don't mind I posted your blog on our Myspace as one of our fans!!

Badwitch said...

I am happy for my blog to be listed as your fan on Myspace!