There are Twelfth Night celebrations taking place in Hastings this weekend to mark the end of Christmas.
The Stag, in All Saints Street holds a wassailing the apple trees event on Saturday January 5 from 8pm, with singing and Border Morris dancers while Twelfth Night revels take place on Sunday 6, starting at the Jenny Lind High Street at 3pm with live music, followed by a procession to the Albion, George Street, for a wassail and colourful Twelfth Night party.
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Hollington Tipteerers will be taking their 400 year old Mummers Play out on Sunday night, starting at the Jenny Lind and performing at the Horse and Groom, St Leonards, and other pubs in the town.
The last day of the Twelve Days of Christmas is 6th January, Twelfth Day, being the twelfth day after Christmas Day. It was once the highlight of the holidays and ended the season with a bang, with much merrymaking and partying. For centuries, the night of Twelfth Day has in popular custom been celebrated in England as Twelfth Night.
The fun starts on Sunday with a gathering at the Jenny Lind in the High Street where Forty Shillings on the Drum will be playing music from 3pm.
There will be the choosing of a King and Queen for the Night at 5pm.
The Lord of Misrule will ceremoniously hand round pieces of Twelfth Night Cake amongst those who are going on to the Albion Twelfth Night Party.
People are encouraged to wear fancy dress, masks or disguises.
A wassail ceremony will take place at the Albion, on the seafront, at 6pm.
Wassail derives from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘waes hael’ meaning ‘be whole, be hale, be well’. The response is ‘drinc hael’ meaning ‘drink, be well’.
The Albion Twelfth Night Party gets underway at 7pm and will include live music.