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Cookley and Caunsall to host third Wassail
7:20am Tuesday 8th January 2013 in News
A TREE blessing ceremony believed to encourage a good harvest is being held in Cookley and Caunsall on Saturday.
The Wassail is being hosted by Foxs Morris dancers for the third year running.
This year, the dancers will be joined by five other groups including the Brummie Gems, Powder Kegs of Derbyshire, Rhubarb Tarts of Yorkshire, Wyre Forest belly dancers Bellyfusion and Appalachian dancers Step on Board.
The event begins at the Anchor Inn in Caunsall where the fruit trees in the orchard will be blessed.
The dancers will then move to the Eagle and Spur pub at Cookley at 8pm where each side will perform one dance, followed by a torch light procession through Cookley to Sebright Primary School to bless damson trees.
The purpose of Wassailing was originally to awake the trees and to scare away evil spirits for a good harvest in the autumn.
The word Wassail derives from the Old English words waes and hael, which means be healthy or be whole.
To bless the trees, one person will sip cider from the Wassail cup and place bread or cake soaked in cider on the tree.
Cider is also poured on to the base of the tree and then pots and pans are beaten to make a loud noise followed by a Wassail song and a Morris dance.