Wassailing is a tradition focussing on apple orchards; where an annual ritual takes place to encourage a good harvest. Participants wear bright clothing, play musical instruments, and bang drums, forming a noisy procession to the orchard. Cider-dipped toast is hung from the trees to encourage the good tree spirit - represented by the robin - and as much noise is made as possible to scare away the evil spirits. The intention is to ensure a good harvest of apples the following year. Wassail itself is a sweet spicy apple-based drink with honey and spices. There is an annual wassail as part of Cotehele’s Yuletide celebrations.
Turned lignum vitae wassail bowl.