FIRE, shouting, firing shotguns, music, singing, cider, toast, a procession, dancing, pitchforks, bashing pots and pans - all these will come together at Sandford on Saturday, January 20 for the Sandford Wassail.

In the cider-producing counties of the South West and South East of England, wassailing refers to a traditional ceremony that involves singing and drinking the health of trees in the hope that they might better thrive. The wassail in Sandford was revived in 2011.

The evening begins with everyone gathering in Sandford Square from about 6.30pm and the arrival of the parade of Exeter Morris, Sandford Scouts, the Brown Paper Bag Mummers and many others with lanterns and torches.

There will be morris dancing in the square and the choosing of the Wassail King or Queen, and the singing of the Wassail song.

Last year Matilda Gill (5) of Crediton, was the Wassail Queen and it is hoped she will attend to present the crown to her successor.

The ceremony then continues with a parade, the blessing of the trees, the pouring of cider around a tree and toast being placed in the branches.

People are invited to take along pots and pans, rattles, whistles, and other instruments or just shout for the noisy part of the proceedings, the frightening away of the evil spirits.

Those attending should also take along a torch, good footwear and cash for donations as the event is in aid of local good causes.

The event is held in association with Sandford Orchards.

The Lamb Inn will be serving hot drinks and mulled cider and from 8.30pm, Wassail Traditional Folk Songs will be held in the Dowrich Room.

Wassailing is a pagan tradition dating back to medieval times and the word wassail comes from the Viking term “waes hail” for “good health”.