Our favourite time of the year at Oldfields is a wassail time! And this year the apple tree blessing went vital. The magical wassail was featured in newspapers and websites from Worcestershire to Australia.
The ancient tradition of apple wassailing is being kept alive in our orchards at Oldfields. The ceremony, which blesses the cider apple trees for a bountiful crop in the year ahead, may date back to Pagan times.
It certainly felt like it on a starry January night if you happened upon our usually peaceful village of Frith Common near Tenbury Wells and saw a parade of villagers carrying fire-lit torches in the moonlight to the sound of jingling bells, drums and chanting.
The wassail, meaning ‘good health’, was performed by the Leominster Border Morris Side, and our own Josh Thompson is one of the perfomers! By making as much noise as possible the aim is to drive away evil spirits and songs are sung to Pomona, the apple Goddess for a fruitful harvest.
Once the orchards were blessed, the congregation returned to Oldfields for mulled Oldfields cider and a traditional mummers play, featuring a non-traditional ‘Donald Trump’!
The following morning we found some fantastic photos of our wassail on the BBC News website, The Telegraph, The Independent, The Financial Times and more at home and abroad, even as far as the Sydney Herald! The photos, taken by Matt Cardy can be found on Getty Images