Traditionally Sussex to the core

THE old Sussex tradition of wassailing the apple trees is alive and well and takes place at Rye Foreign on Saturday.

The event, which gets underway from 7pm, takes place at the Royal Oak and involves toasting the apple trees with cider and blowing horns and letting off loud bangs to scare away evil spirits and ensure a good crop of apples later in the year.

Wassail comes from the Saxon Wes Hail, meaning good health, a wassail bowl of hot cider is passed around people who share the greeting. The tradition is often known as Howling in Sussex and Kent.

Saturday’s event will also includes Border Morris dancing from Hastings based Winter Warmers and a traditional Mummers play.