Monday, 21 April 2008

Wassail! Wassail! All over the town

Today I have been mostly discovering what it means to wassail. I'd like to say that I've been travelling from house to house, demanding food and drink in return for a few verses of whatever carol I can remember at the time. However, I have instead been doing it from the comfort of my home and am (you'll be pleased to hear) completely sober.

Did you know, for example, that wassail comes from the Old English 'waes hael' meaning 'be healthy'? Or that the expression 'to drink a toast' originates with the custom of wassailing?

Of course, I can't reveal all the secrets of the wassail here - you'll have to wait until What is Myrrh Anyway? is published to discover the truth behind our best loved Christmas traditions. But, once again, in the meantime I've found a (I admit, slightly twee) treat for you to tide you over until Christmastide, when wassailing can begin again with a vengeance!

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