Wassailing has been carried to Tasmania, with gusto and enthusiasm.

Histories of Emotion

Marchant. Image 1. Wassailing.jpg Wassailing. Photo by Natalie Mendham. Used with the kind permission of the Huon Valley Mid-Winter Fest

Alicia Marchant,The University of Tasmania 

Give me one kiss in apple-blossom
Give me one wish, and I’d be wassailing
In the orchard, my English rose

(Kate Bush, Oh England, My Lionheart)

After dark on a Saturday night in the Huon Valley in southern Tasmania, a group of around 50 people, loud both in noise and in colour, parade through the centre of an enormous, enthralled crowd. The Morris parading group are dressed in their traditional bells and tatters, some with flowers and plant materials (birch sticks and leaves), top hats and tails, and brightly painted faces. Some are dressed in furs with pagan-styled animal masks, including wolves and bears, and there is one white horse. With banners, lanterns and flaming torches the group parades through the crowd, banging loudly on pots and…

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