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Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Wassail Ceremony

Here is a simple wassail ceremony.

  • Heat a large container of ale or beer - about 3 or 4 pints.
  • Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup mixed spices (cinnamon sticks and whole cloves are also excellent)
  • Cut up 2 or 3 small sweet apples and add those.
  • Add 1 1/4 cup of pineapple juice and the same of orange.
  • Squeeze 2 lemons into the brew.
  • Place over a slow flame; then, before it begins to boil, take off the heat and whip up some cream. Let this float on top of the brew like foam.
  • Put into a suitably large bowl (the more ornate the better).
  • Toast several slices of bread, if you have fruit cake you can use pieces of that instead.
  • Now, with a few friends, go out to the tree or trees (see note below).
  • Dip pieces of toasted bread into the brew and place in the branches of the tree. Hang pieces of bread and cake from the higher twigs to encourage robins (guardian spirits of the trees). Bend the lower branches down and dip their ends in the brew.
  • Wet the roots liberally with the brew. Pass the rest around and when everyone is thoroughly warmed up, sing a wassailing song.
  • Lift your glasses to the tree and shout "Huzzah!" three times as loudly as you can.
Note: These don't have to be apple trees, since any tree will benefit from a well-intentioned blessing, but it is traditional to wassail fruit-bearing trees.  You can wassail the trees in your yard, near your home, or trees in some previously selected area.

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