ONCE A YEAR 1970s BRITISH FOLKLORE
Wassailing the Apple Tree. Carhampton, Somerset.
Wassailing the Apple Tree. Carhampton Somerset. England . 1972
The original use of the word 'wassail' was as a greeting when drinking the health of a person, and derives from the Anglo-Saxon wes hal, or 'Be in good health'. Later it came to describe a custom observed on New Year's Eve and Twelfth Night of drinking healths from a wassail-bowl. Connected with this appears to have been the practice of wassailing cattle or fruit-trees to encourage
them to thrive, a custom...