Villagers join the Hook Eagle Morris Men in the orchard during the annual Wassail night in Hartley Wintney, 40 miles (64 Kilometers) west of London, on January 4, 2013. The event, held near to twelfth night, celebrates both the passing of Christmas and the future good health of the fruit trees. Traditionally the custom involved the local farm workers visiting the orchard after dark with shotguns, horns, food and a large pail of cider. They would make a loud noise to raise the Sleeping Tree Spirit and to scare off demons. Cider would be poured over the roots and pieces of toast placed in the branches as a gift to the spirit of the tree. The wassail song is sung as a blessing or charm to bring fruitfulness or even in admonishment not to fail in the upcoming year. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
04 Jan 2013
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