Willesden residents resurrect ancient festival

Wassail thanks food providerrs both modern and old

Residents and shopkeepers joined together to celebrate each other during a recently reinvented pagan festival - Wassail.

Performers read poetry and told stories to the diverse community as they walked from Willesden Green tube station to the library in High Road, Willesden, as they paid thanks to fruit bearers both modern and old – apple trees and shopkeepers – on Sunday.

The ancient ritual was brought back to life by Moishe House London (MHL), a non denomination Jewish community group, and the Transition Kensal to Kilburn Fruit Pickers, a green group who fight to reduce food wastage.

Wassail was a winter blessing to trees that were sparse and lifeless but would hopefully provide food later in the year.

Rachel Rose Reid, of MHL, said: “It is easy to feel that we have little in common with our neighbours other than location, but community is created by us, and by our daily interactions. If we support our local businesses and each other, we have the power to make our neighbourhood a joyful place to be.”