WASSAILING? All a bit ‘far from the madding crowd’ to make sense in our urban landscape until you realise Mancs are alway ripe for a neo-pagan drinking ritual. And if the midwinter merrymaking is a harbinger of a good cider apple harvest to come ToM says ‘jolly job done’.
Welcome then to The Old Twelvy Night Wassail, the first ever such celebration held in Manchester city centre. Expect mulled cider, a parade, community choir, dancing, apple pressing, planting and much more on Friday, January 17.
There has to be an excuse for reviving this rural tradition this Twelfth Night serenading of the farmers’ orchards – a cider-fuelled extension of Christmas. Well, it just so happens that there is a small orchard planted on the N.O.M.A owned land outside the Coop HQ at One Angel Square.
It all kicks off at 4:30pm with apple pressing on a vintage trike named 'Pedal Pedal Squish Squish', apple themed crafts and games with City of Trees. They will also be donating a new fruit tree to extend the orchard on the site. To whet your wassail whistle Dunham Press Cider and Juice will be on site selling their wares.
Meanwhile, a five minute walk away at the Marble Arch (73 Rochdale Rd, M4 4HY) the Wassail band and Mill Town Cloggies will be on site before the Wassail Parade leaves promptly from the pub at at 5:45pm.
The Old Twelvy Night Wassail, One Angel Square, Manchester M60 0AG. Friday, January 17, 4.30pm-6.30pm. Free, though donations to the Orchard Project welcome. Family-friendly.