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Winter Wassailing at Houghton Lodge Gardens
Winter Wassailing is a traditional pagan ceremony that helps to ward off evil spirits and on January 17 it will be performed for the first time at the Walled Garden of Grade 11* listed gardens.
Taking place on the old ‘twelfth night,’ the proceedings will be led by a Wassail King who will travel through the orchard in the walled Garden offering the apple trees bread soaked in cider and pouring cider on their roots.
Songs are sung and drums, sticks, rattles and bells are beaten to drive away the bad spirits and to encourage the trees to give a good harvest.
The Gardens will open at 3pm for a Winter Walk across the meadows and gardens. Local mulled cider and apple juice will be provided before the procession which will commence at 5.30pm, followed by a warming soup and more refreshments.