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Wassail 1

31st January 2018

Tenterden's first Wassail

Nightingale Farm Shop & Cidery hosted Tenterden’s first Wassail at Gibbet Oak Farm on 13th January. This ancient orchard blessing tradition that was first recorded in Fordwich near Canterbury in 1585, celebrates the past and future harvests, and scares away the evil spirits. Wassail, means good health in Old English. 150 members of the local community joined in the torch led procession into the orchard, where bonfires were lit, and Ashford Folk musicians performed traditional wassail songs as part of the ceremony. Afterwards, much merriment was enjoyed in the barn with music, local food from the Farm Street Kitchen, and a bar with Nightingale Cider and Romney Marsh ales. The event was organised with the help of the Tenterden Folk Festival. Cider maker and organiser Sam Nightingale said “I’ve attended several Wassails and have wanted to host one on the farm for a long time. We’ve had an amazing response from the local community, and it’s a pleasure to share our farm and what we do here with the public.” Look out for more information on next year’s Wassail! Photography by Steve Town.