Wassail at QE Hospital Orchard 13th January
Come and join the noisy “Wassail” in the QE Hospital Orchards on Saturday 13th January.
A custom from long before England celebrated Christmas, Wassailing is practiced in orchards to ensure a fruitful apple harvest.
Revellers are gathering at 6pm at the Main Entrance of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham to then make a noisy procession into the hospital’s orchards, to awaken the fruit trees. So bring drums, bed-pans, whistles and noisy neighbours for QEHB’s first ever Wassail.
Brummie poet “Spoz” will be leading an entertaining ceremony to awaken the trees, with morris dancing from the Brummie Gems Molly Dancers.
Along with lots of noise, part of the ceremony involves threatening to cut the trees down, whilst a Wassail Queen will drape cider-soaked toast amongst the tree boughs. Hot spiced wassail drink will be enjoyed, whilst tuneful revellers are encouraged to sing ‘Juice-Alem’, an apple-related version of the famous song ‘Jerusalem’.
The tradition of wassailing has been performed in orchards across Herefordshire and Worcestershire for thousands of years. However, this month’s Wassail at QEHB is hopefully their first of many.
The hospital’s orchards were planted by volunteers almost 3 years ago, in partnership with national charity The Orchard Project. It comprises of apple trees, plums, pears and cherries.
Posted on 3rd January 2018