Wassail cup and apple tree

Wassail cup and apple tree


On January 6th, the Museum (with a lot of help from its friends) celebrates Old Christmas.  Last year, we also had a wassail.  Alex Langstone helped to organise the event (thanks Alex!) and brought an apple tree for the wassail.  We planted this in Joan’s Garden in front of the Museum back in January.  Since then it has been battered by storms, covered in snow and drenched in rain! Remarkably it has survived (and thrived – perhaps due to the blessings it received at Old Christmas) and is now set to bloom.  We hope it will provide us with some apples for our 2019 celebration.

We are also the proud guardians of the Boscastle Wassail cup to be used annually at this celebration.  It has been beautifully created by Paul Atlas-Saunders.  We will take good care of it and hope it will be used at this event for many years to come.

Here is a little baby enjoying the cup outside the Museum (apologies for funny colour, we had camera problems and she wouldn’t pose like this again!)

A bit about Old Christmas…

When by Act of Parliament the Calendar changed from the Old Julian to the New Gregorian in 1752, Cornish men and women were rather annoyed that eleven precious days went missing overnight!  Ever independent of mind, they decided this and kept the date of Old Christmas alive on January 6th each year.  At the Museum, we celebrate ‘Old Christmas’ with the Cornish winter traditions of guize processions, the ‘Chalking the Mock’ ceremony, and dancing including Boscastle’s very own dance: ‘Boscastle Breakdown’ performed on top of a barrel as is tradition! 

This annual event is free to attend, more details will be announced nearer the time.  Here are the posters/leaflets for Old Christmas 2018 to give you an idea of what to expect.

You can also read about it on these great blog posts by Gemma Gary:

Boscastle Old Christmas & Wassail

Chalking the Mock – Old Christmas in Boscastle




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