Cheers to a Central Saanich orchard in 2017 at wassail event

For around 10 years now, Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse has hosted a Wassail Celebration.

Wassail celebrations from 2016’s event.

For around 10 years now, Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse has hosted a Wassail Celebration.

The word ‘wassail’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon phrase ‘waes heal,’ meaning ‘good health.

“It’s a yearly thing that you do in January or December where you bless the orchard to scare away all the evil spirits,” said Mike Pepperdine, sales and marketing manager at Sea Cider in Central Saanich. “It’s very Old English sort of style.”

The celebration acts as a large open house, where visitors can enjoy guided tours of the cider and orchard with owner and founder Kristen Needham, along with the official orchard blessing.

“So you’re cheersing the orchard and saying ‘good health, good trees,’ and doing a little ritual to get a good harvest,” said Pepperdine.

He said the event is very specific to the apple crop, and the celebrations, which include singing and drinking, are to the health of trees in the hope that they will thrive.

There will also be entertainment including Morris dancers and a Mummers play, along with prizes and giveaways and a chance to sample food from their catering partners.

Cider and food tickets will be available for purchase to sample the various products.

Pepperdine said the event is also family friendly, with activities and crafts for the kids too.

“It’s a cool, sort of real old school event,” he said.

Upon arrival, patrons will receive a complimentary welcome glass of cider. Sea Cider will also have their wassail deal of two bottles for $30.

The celebrations will take place Jan. 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at  Sea Cider. To RSVP visit the Sea Cider Wassail Celebrations 2017 Facebook page.

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