Walthamstow Wassailing

What better way to celebrate the season of goodwill than by indulging in a wassailing ceremony? The Walthamstow Wassail is part of an ancient tradition. Peter Gray reports.

Walthamstow Wassailing

Why not join the good people of Walthamstow for a New Year’s Wassailing Ceremony. What better way to celebrate the season of good will than with this anicent toast to the season? Wassailing is an ancient British tradition derived from the toast “waes hael” meaning “be in good health” or “be well”.

Wassailing was carried out at Christmas and at the beginning of the new year with warmed ale, wine or cider. These drinks were spiced with a variety of festive condiments.

Wassailers went from house to house, singing traditional songs and inviting people that they met to celebrate the season with a toast. The celebration typically took place on Twelfth Night.

The Walthamstow celebration will take place at the Vestry House Museum in Walthamstow Village. Join a singing workshop for families or a workshop for experienced singers. Once the workshops are over, participants will meet in the Museum Garden before processing towards Orford Road.

The theme of this year’s wassail is the Guardians of the Orchard. This year, participants will learn about the flying horse of Somerset, Lazy Laurence. Lazy Lawrence was traditionally viewed as the guardian and protector of the Apple Orchards during the long winter months.

The wassail begins at 3pm at the Vestry House Museum with a blessing for the apple trees. After the blessing, the wassailers will progress along Orford Road, before finishing at the Froth and Rind.

The event will end with an event at the Nags Head.

For more information on the Walthamstow Wassail, please click here.

For information on other great activities in London, please click here.

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