Lost wassails — 9 Comments

  1. Wassail. Marvellous.

    I’d go a step further than you, Ian, and suggest there’s little in Christian ritual that doesn’t have pagan origins of some sort. Nothing wrong with that as long as you go easy on the wicker men.

  2. Strangely enough, the hardline Prods in the North would agree with you, which is why they so hate anything involving rituals!

    I love the old traditions – anything is better than the saccharine blandness of what Christmas has become

  3. Speaking of rituals, some of the rugby teams seem to have their own sets of traditions. I love going to Bayonne, where the guard of honour for the teams stand holding oars (it was a rowing club originally) and where everyone stands to sing the club anthem , La Pena Baiona, and I still haven’t fathomed the Stade Francais pink, complete with a 13th Century princess on the front of the shirts. Makes the RDS seem dull.

  4. I noticed unruliness creeping into our own ranks at the Boks match – jeering at Steyn was audible from some quarters of the ground.

  5. But the Gloucester habit of sticking slices of toast on the branches is probably more conducive to good apples than the Somerset habit of shooting the trees!

  6. What is the significance of the Somerset shooting into trees? I saw locals on Majorca doing it around Easter time one year. They appeared to be municipal workers. I couldn’t make head nor tail of it.

  7. I had to Google it!

    It’s to drive away evil spirits. I wonder if you have to use game or competition cartridges (the size of the shot varies!)

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