We had a great wassail and Imbolc lantern event on Friday – a lantern workshop led by Natalie in the morning and a procession in the garden in the late afternoon. We also foraged for our own willow to make lanterns on Imbolc iteself, 2nd Feb, at the Forth Quarter Park (no pics I’m afraid, it was windy and wet!).
Imbolc is a pagan celebration of the coming of spring and is held on 2nd Feb, halfway between the winter equinox (21st Dec) and spring equinox (21st March). It’s a festival of light, also called Candlemas.
Wassailing is also held in late winter and is an old English tradition to scare away evil spirits from your fruit trees and encourage a good harvest in the coming year.
So,we scared away the evil spirits with noise and light and sang to our fruit trees! (And the bits of bread in the tree are to appease the tree spirits and feed them well until the next harvest). And celebrated the coming of spring with lanterns and mulled apple juice.
“Oh apple, apple tree,
we have come to wassail thee.
Will you bear some fruit for me
When the season changes?”