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Yarlington pub revives centuries old wassailing tradition

Stag's Head Inn

On Friday, 11 January, the Stag’s Head Inn at Yarlington is reviving a centuries old wassailing tradition in collaboration with the local community. The evening ceremony will begin at this traditional country inn where the revellers will sample the “wassailing cup” before embarking on a noisy procession, led by the anointed Wassail King or Queen with the ceremonial Wassail Bowl, to a local orchard where the oldest, most venerable tree is surrounded.

The old tree is serenaded with chants, songs and rhymes and is then beaten around the trunk with sticks, to begin the process of awakening the tree and to encourage the sap to start flowing. This is accompanied by much shouting and noise, to wake the tree up as well as frightening away any evil spirits!

Pieces of cider-soaked toast are then placed in the boughs and hollows of the tree, with the remainder of the cup being poured around the trunk, accompanied by singing. Yarlington has its own traditional Wassailing Carol, and everyone will be encouraged to join in. Once the ceremony is over the procession will make its way back to the pub, where a special Wassail Supper will be available.

Landlady of the Stag’s Head, Gill Gould, said, “We bought the Stag’s Head Inn 18 months ago and were delighted when we found out about the ancient custom of wassailing. The tradition of the Yarlington Wassail dates back to the Middle Ages and when we heard about it we wanted the pub to be involved. We believe it is very important to support this type of community celebration which is so much about Somerset heritage with its emphasis on the health and wellbeing of the apple that is such an intrinsic part of the history of this magnificent county.”
She continues, “In keeping with tradition, hot spiced cider and apple juice will be available to purchase both at the Stag’s Head throughout the evening as well as at the orchard. All profits from the sales of hot spiced cider, apple juice and the Wassail Supper will be donated to St Margaret's Hospice.” The evening will begin at 5.30pm on Friday, 11 January.

For further information visit: www.stagsheadin.co.uk or contact Gill Gough, E/: info@stagsheadinn.co.uk or T/: 01963 440393.

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Release Date: 7th January 2019

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