Tonight when I went to visit some friends at my sister’s house, something very unexpected happened – my non-Pagan family suddenly decided to hold the very Pagan tradition of wassailing!
My brother-in-law had just planted some new apple and pear trees, and had heard about the Yule tradition of wassailing in orchards to ensure healthy growth. So he decided to hold a little wassailing ceremony with my Dad, his best friend and myself, based on the information he found on wassailing on Wikipedia.
My brother-in-law poured out the wassail drink (spiced cider) into a large wooden chalice handmade by his uncle, which certainly looked the part. We then dipped some toast in the wassail and, as I was the only woman taking part, I was selected as the Wassail Queen to hang the toast on the tree, while the others intoned the traditional wassail song. My Dad sprinkled both the young and old fruit trees with wassail, and finally we all shared the remaining wassail together (I suggested saying “May you never thirst” when offering the wassail to each other, as we do in ceremonies at Medway Pagans).
I was really very surprised to see my otherwise non-Pagan family hold such a ceremony, even if it was held just for a bit of fun. I’d really love to encourage them to hold more Pagan rituals in the future…perhaps I can?!