Happy Christmas to all our wonderful friends and enormous thanks for your custom and support during 2015. We’ve had a fantastic year and are so far enjoying the winter season, catching up with lots of jobs that don’t get done during the summer when the grass is growing faster than we can mow it (almost!). We still have some hardy campers joining us and would encourage you to book now for your spring break..! Although there’s no snow likely here for the foreseeable future, we thought you’d like this wonderful picture from Christmas Day 2010, brrr!
Once we’ve recovered from the festive feasting, we’re looking forward to the annual wassail on Wednesday 6 January. It starts from 6pm at the Visitors Centre and all are most welcome to join in this ages-old custom, which can seem quite bizarre to the uninitiated! We parade en-masse from one orchard to the next around the village and ‘wassail’ the apple trees there, which means we sing songs, make a toast and then make a lot of noise to ward off the evil spirits – whether this be by rattling saucepan lids, playing instruments or, if we have special permission, firing shotguns.
This ritual is thought to ensure a successful apple harvest during the following autumn and it certainly worked this year! The event features locally pressed apple juice and warm cider along with a cheery welcome for all the family and is followed by a traditional mummer’s play at the Dovery Museum. It’s a free event, all you need to bring along is a torch and some means of making a noise (and if you don’t join at the start you can usually track down the wassail party with your ears..!).
With very best wishes for a peaceful and fulfilling 2016 from all of us here at Sparkhayes Campsite :) x