Curry Rivel Wassail and Ashen Faggot

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Wassailing in Curry Rivel in the 1950s
Wassailers i
King William pub

Curry Rivel Wassail and Ashen Faggot
King William IV Pub 5th Jan, 7.30pm

The Ashen Faggot is a West Country Christmas custom — it's a large log with withies bound around it to make a bundle which is burned indoors in the hearth. Drinks are consumed as each withy breaks in the flames, which sounds like an excuse for conviviality.
If you adhere to the pre-Gregorian calendar. Wassailing is a traditional luck-bringing custom associated with apple orchards dating back at least a few hundred years; the word has its origins in the Old English toast "waes hael" meaning Good Health. Revivals are particularly common in cider producing areas such as the West Country and Herefordshire and are usually in mid-January but can take place as early as Christmas. Expect singing, morris dancing, cider offerings to the trees (and in some cases pieces of toast), beating the branches and lots of noise including firing shotguns into the trees to wake them up.

In Curry Rival the faggot is burned every 5th January and it's combined with the village Wassail custom. The wassailing party meet and visit several houses and end their tour of the village at the pub, and have done so for a great many years.

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