Businesses and traders blessed in Willesden Wassail event

Residents team up with artists to take part in High Road ceremony

Businesses including a polish restaurant and a shoe shop were blessed and sang to by residents as part of an ancient ritual, which was re-created in Willesden Green this weekend.

The Willesden Wassail saw residents joined by a team of spoken word artists as they marched down High Road to honour their local food providers yesterday (Sunday).

Wassailing is a tradition dating back to pre-Christian times in which a group of people sang a traditional winter song to their weather-beaten apple trees in order to encourage a good harvest.

The modern event has been organised every year for the past three years by professional storyteller Rachel Rose-Reid.

She told the Times why she loves the event.

She said: “It was great, it’s fantastic to get the community involved and meet people you otherwise would not.

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“These are people who are such a big part of our community but more often than not we probably would not speak to them.

“I love their reaction, some of them were anxious and nervous last year but this year they couldn’t wait to come out and see us.”

Among the artists who joined in the festivities included Muslim hip-hop duo Poetic Pilgrimage, and Willesden Green Vocality Choir as they marched from Willesden Green tube station to the library centre.

Transition Town Willesden were also on hand to provide a special Wassail punch at the library centre which was made from locally picked apples.

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