‘Here’s to a jolly wassail’ - Brandeston villagers drive out evil spirits as part of Twelfth Night tradition

Sandra Roberts, was Queen of the Wassail for the event held on Twelfth Night in Brandeston. Picture:

Sandra Roberts, was Queen of the Wassail for the event held on Twelfth Night in Brandeston. Picture: SANDRA SMITH - Credit: Archant

Suffolk villagers sang songs and demanded drink as part of an ancient tradition held to bring good fortune for the coming year.

Wassailers sing to the apple trees in Brandeston. Picture: SANDRA SMITH

Wassailers sing to the apple trees in Brandeston. Picture: SANDRA SMITH - Credit: Archant

A group of 25 “wassailers” spent Twelfth Night singing to the apple trees in Brandeston, near Framlingham, to encourage a successful harvest.

The ancient tradition of wassailing saw the Master of the Rebels lead a procession around the village singing to households, demanding drink and toasting to the health of the house – and its apples.

This year’s Queen of the Wassail, Sandra Roberts, hung toast soaked in alcohol from the apple trees, before the revellers made noise to drive away evil spirits and ensure a good apple harvest.

After the procession, The Queen lit a bonfire and took her place on the throne, where the revellers kissed her hand, They then sampled this year’s cider and enjoyed supper, which included passing around the “wassail cup” of cider and apple brandy.

The �palladium�, a deer skull with antlers, is carried around Brandeston to safeguard against evil s

The �palladium�, a deer skull with antlers, is carried around Brandeston to safeguard against evil spirits as part of the Wassailing event. Picture: SANDRA SMITH - Credit: Archant

Brandeston also holds an apple festival in October, at which villagers bring their apples to be crushed to produce the juice from which they will make their cider.

Wassailers sing to the apple trees in Brandeston. Picture: SANDRA SMITH

Wassailers sing to the apple trees in Brandeston. Picture: SANDRA SMITH - Credit: Archant

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