Bolney Apple Howling

Where: Bolney, Sussex at Old Mill Farm
When: 1st Saturday in January
Time: 6pm


Torchlit procession

Apple Howling is a revival of the ancient tradition of wassailing, the ritual to encourage the apple trees to produce a bumper crop – Howling is the local variant of the custom. A torchlight procession winds its way down the lane to the orchard ; the wassailers surround the oldest tree and cake and cider are offered up before the tree is beaten with sticks to awaken it from its winter slumbers and shots are fired into the branches. Special wassailing songs are sung, morris dances performed and cider and cake are consumed.

Helpful Hints

The event is organised by the Chanctonbury Ring Morris Men and has been well established now for over half a century – it’s a family friendly event. Follow the link to their website for the full programme including words for the songs. Wear boots or wellies- some of the windfalls are slippery underfoot in the orchard. In cases of extreme weather the event will be cancelled so keep an eye on the organisers’ Facebook page for up-to-date information (link below).

There’s a small but well stocked shop at the farm selling cider & apple juice.

In 2018 it will be on Saturday January 6th.

Click here for the Facebook page:

Click here for the event website :

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