|A chilly Windmill this morning
When we woke up on Sunday morning to a thick, white blanket of snow, we wondered how many folk would brave the cold to come and join us for our Old Twelfth Night and Lohri Celebration, but we needn't have worried! Lots of hardy people turned up and, by all accounts, had a lovely time (thanks for the great Facebook feedback!)
|Folk like to congregate around the food area!
It's a favourite event of ours at Windmill, because we celebrate Lohri, which is a wonderful Winter festival in the Punjabi community (celebrating the harvest and longer, warmer days), and we've added in Old Twelfth Night - when it's traditional to wassail fruit trees in England. Mix the two traditions and you have a recipe for a great party.
|Panorama of the site, showing our two fire pit areas - drumming at the bottom,
popcorn and feet-warming at the top!
Kitchen and lovely food at the left were also very popular!
We are extremely luck that the lovely Prakash has embraced the idea, and as she has every year since we started, provided us with lashings of delicious curries, puris and desserts, whilst her grandson entertained us with his dhol drumming. The vast vats of food disappeared remarkably quickly as everyone got in the mood, joining in the drumming (thanks to Mark from Nature in Mind for providing a great set of mixed drums and playing along) and stoking up the fires.
|Prakash with Tracey
|Making crowns and wands
Whilst all that was going on, it gave us time to make "wassailing wands" for the children and ivy "crowns" for anyone that wanted one (which seemed to be almost everyone!) as well as toast (of which more later). As we'd asked folk to bring something to make noise with, most people were already prepared, but we provided drums or a few odd noise makers to those in need and set off to wassail the trees. Ni, in her fabulous psychedelic cloak, led the ceremony as the children used their wands to tickle the trees awake. We joined in with wassailing rhymes, then all made a huge din as the children soaked toast in apple juice and hung it from the trees (to attract birds to come and eat the moths).
|Wassailing the apple tree.
|Ni leads the wassailing of the plum tree
|Putting toast on the branches
|One of our volunteers with her wassailing stick
|Toast on the branches
|Our youngest wassailer!
If you have a look on Facebook, you might even see a video of the proceedings.
We would like to thank Prakash and her grandson for their generosity, as well as Mark for drums, Kathy for running the kitchen and making the best mulled apple juice we've had, also to Ray, Hassan and the Rushton clan for their help in fire-starting, setting up, feeding and watering folk and tidying up. And a big thank you to everyone who brought their own mug, which made a huge difference to the amount of washing up we had to do!
|No-one wanted to leave the washing-machine