“Wassailing” is an old English custom
similar to proposing a toast to one’s health. That comparison sounds
simple, however the custom of Wassailing is much more elaborate than a
mere, “Here’s to your good health “.
The word is derived from the Anglo-Saxon
“wes-ha ‘1” to be whole. English carolers would carry a large bowl
from house to house, hoping their neighbors would fill it with drink. As
time passed, the drink associated with the wassail bowl would be hot,
spiced ale with toasted apples floating on the surface. Another name for
this delicious toddy was “lambs wool”.
Although this custom began in the
pre-Christian era, the Church passively adopted it as a means of spreading
Christmas good will. By not objecting to the pagan winter custom, the
Church effectively gave its blessing and Wassailing became a Christmas
Recipe: Boil three pints of ale Beat six
eggs Add the eggs to the boiling ale Add sugar, nutmeg, cloves, ginger,
and roasted apples Serve hot and WATCH OUT’
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