The Wassail procession visited several orchards large and small, old and new. At each orchard bread dipped in cider was hung in the apple trees to feed the Robin, the good spirit of the orchard. The trees were woken up in time for Spring by beating the trunks with willow sticks. It was most important to drive off the bad spirits of the orchard by producing lots of noise to scare them away - pots, pans, bells, horns and of course shotgun blasts through the trees. And fireworks of course!
The procession ended at the Stewart Village Hall with children's dances, songs and a display by the magnificent Armaleggan Border Dancers.
In the evening there was a new celebration; a Wassail Dance.
The Band from Rockall lead the dances (one of the UK's youngest and most fabulous Ceilidh groups and not to missed). They included many traditional Gaelic songs and more modern numbers to get us dancing.
At one point during the evening our very own Brightwell Village Mummers’ Players burst in to entertain us with this year's play.
Mark Brock (Red Lion) provided the fully licensed bar and great food included dishes with an "orchard" theme.
This year donations from the Wassail festivities were collected for refurbishment of the village playgrounds and for Maeve's Magical Journey.
Have a look at some of the fun from 2018 on Facebook
There is also 2016 - 2015 - 2014 on YouTube