Penkhull Wassail and a processional Morris in January. Apple and fruit-tree wassailing is an ancient tradition, taking the form of a New Year procession. I was pleased to see it revived recently in Stoke-on-Trent, and it’s happening again in January 2017. Traditionally, the apple and fruit trees of a district are each visited in turn. The men sing to them, toast their health in cider and the boys tap their trunks with whippy sticks in a sun-wise direction, in order to ‘wake up’ the trees and ‘turn them back toward life’.
Art by Steve Shaw.