The Pomology Project

Wassail: Waking the Winter with a CLANG

Wassail: Waking the Winter with a CLANG

Saturday 18th January 2020

Waking the Winter with a CLANG is a new performance produced by General Public in collaboration with Highbury Orchard Community & Ashiana Community Project. The Wassail is part of General Public’s Pomology Project. Wassail means ‘good health’ and is a traditional winter ritual in fruit orchards that involves poetry, theatre and singing to the trees to bless them with growth, blossom and fruit to ensure a good harvest for the coming year. Wassails are about connecting people and communities to the natural world and seasonal cycles, as well as giving people a reason to come together in the outdoors during the darkest months of the year. All of which, it could be suggested, are beneficial for wellbeing.

Drawing upon folklore, but situated within a contemporary context, this new Waking the Winter with a CLANG ceremony will explore and celebrate strategies and tactics to survive in times of mental distress, the winter and life in general. Taking the five ways to well-being as a starting point – CLANG – Connect, Learn, (be) Active, (take) Notice, Give – the event will feature drumming, some seasonal M-C-ing, folk songs, a new Birmingham preserve called ‘Black Butter’, Wassail drinking bowls made from local clay, vegetable based props, the baby shark melody, Woga (Woodland Yoga) a Green Man / Woman / Person,  fire torches & two characters representing Summer & Winter.