Eastbourne's own drumming group, the Pentacle Drummers, will be holding their very first Wassail in January 2013 at Stone Cross Nurseries. Pentacle Drummers formed in 2001 to perform at the first Lammas Festival and have now grown to a troupe of forty members attending over thirty events each year. They dress in distinctive green and red livery with tatter coats and painted faces.
The Wassail is an ancient traditional ceremony originating in Southern England which involves singing while drinking the health of apple trees in order to frighten away evil spirits and ensure a good cider harvest in the Autumn. The finer details of ceremonies vary from town to town but there is usually a procession, a King & Queen of the Wassail, copious quantities of a hot mulled cider drink - also called Wassail - and the placing of toast soaked in Wassail into the trees as a gift to nourish them.
Plans for the Pentacle Drummers' Wassail include the procession, Morris Dancing - I'm hoping to see Eastbourne side Hunter's Moon, Drumming and the planting of five apple trees to mark the occasion. There will also be apple bobbing, belly dancing, face painting by Uncle Bumble, and music from Wojtek Godzisz. The event will raise money to support the great work of East Sussex Wildlife Rescue.
Stone Cross Nurseries, Sat19th Jan, 17:00.