Page 24 - Autumn Brilliance - We Wish You A Scary Christmas! Winter 2020
P. 24

 First of all, let’s talk about what wassail is not.
It is not simply mulled cider or mulled wine (both of which I am quite fond), let alone a slapdash mix of fruit juices. It is not pronounced “wass´-ul” (which frankly sounds like something you do in college after drinking too much cheap beer; “Dude, after that kegger I crawled off the frat house porch and wassulled all over the bushes!”).
And wassail is not, is NEVER, non-alcoholic.
Olde Christmas, by Robert Seymour, circa 1836.
With a steaming bowl of wassail held lustfully aloft while riding a goat, this image of an olden Father Christmas hearkens back to the ancient Scandinavian lore of Thor, who rode across the sky in his sled pulled by two goats, Tanngrisnir and Tanngnjóstr.

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