PHOTO GALLERY: Kenninghall embraces pagan Wassail festival

Lashings of cider and apple juice were downed and sprinkled on a south Norfolk orchard last night to celebrate an ancient English tradition.

Dozens of revellers gathered in Kenninghall on a wet and windy Saturday evening to take part in the pagan festival of wassailing

The Lord of Misrule and Spirit of the Orchard also joined the celebrations for the village's seventh Wassail event.

The ceremony, which aims to bless the apple and pear trees for the forthcoming growing season, involved the pouring of juice and the offering of pieces of bread around a decorated Norfolk Beefing tree at the Kenninghall community orchard.

Wassailing has been practised in the UK since the Anglo-Saxon times.

Organiser Anne-Marie Clark, of the Kenninghall Lands Trust, said it was important to keep the Wassailing tradition alive and it was a great way to celebrate the community orchard.

'Some people think that we go abroad and take part and enjoy other people's traditions, but for some reason we are not so great on our own traditions,' she said.

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Song and dance was provided by the Shelfanger Singers and the Kenninghall Morris.

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