Wassail

Wassail

Oh, that brings us to one of the strongest traditions of Christmastime. The wassail cup has been around, literally, since the dark ages and the tradition has changed little over that period of time. Wassail is a strong drink (normally alcoholic) and it is served to help keep the chill away on those cold nights. The Wassail is also a toasting drink. When family and friends visit and when meals are served, the patriarch of the family raises his cup and wishes everyone good health. The word Wassail actually means “Be Well.” In some communities, the carolers will actually carry with them, in a wagon, a bowl of hot wassail. When they finish singing, they offer the homeowners a drink of Wassail. The tradition has changed somewhat over the years and now homeowners are sure to have warm Wassail for the carolers when they come to the door.
Of course, caroling either for or with a bowl of Wassail would not be complete without the very familiar Wassailing song:
Here we come a wassailing
among the leaves so green.
Here we come a wassailing
so fair to be seen.
Love and joy
come to you
and to you
your wassail too.
And God bless you and send you
a Happy New Year
and God send you
a Happy New Year.
Next: Mulling the wassail.
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