Welcome Ceremony incorporating burning mid-winter man  – Friday 13 July

This year we’re working with the team from Nayri Niara Good Spirit Festival to bring you a Tasmanian Aboriginal  Welcome Ceremony culminating in burning a 13 metre tall effigy. We burn an effigy at the festival to collectively let go of any negative energy and make way for the new.

Wassailing – Saturday 14 July

The purpose of wassailing is to awake the cider apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn. The ceremonies of each wassail vary but they generally all have the same core elements. A wassail King and Queen lead the song and/or a processional tune to be played/sung from one orchard to the next, the wassail Queen will then be lifted up into the boughs of the tree where she will place toast soaked in Wassail from the Clayen Cup as a gift to the tree spirits (and to show the fruits created the previous year).

Then we will have the wassail which we want you all to join  in!

Old Apple tree we’ll wassail thee,
And hoping thou wilt bear.
The Lord does know where we shall be
To be merry another year.

To blow well and to bear well,
And so merry let us be.
Let every man drink up his cup
And health to the old apple tree.

Then we want you to sing and shout and bang drums and pots & pans and generally make a terrible racket until the gunsmen give a great final volley through the branches to make sure the work is done!



The inaugural Huon Valley Mid-Winter Pilgrimage is an ambitious fund-raiser developed by Willie Smith’s and the great team at Wild Pedder to raise funds for Bethlehem House and Hobart Women’s Shelter.

On Thursday 12 July, walkers will traverse from Bethlehem House in Hobart’s CBD to kunanyi/Mt Wellington where they will stay overnight, before continuing to our festival in Grove – a journey of more than 40km!

Both of our businesses feel deeply empathetic about the predicament of Hobart’s homeless, with a target of raising $25 000 for the crisis and emergency accommodation providers who have seen a huge increase in demand for their services given the current rental crisis.

Cody McCracken, co-founder of Wild Pedder, who is coordinating the Pilgrimage said recently “Out on the streets, the Hobart winter is a harsh one. Many people feel incredibly fortunate that each night they get to go home to a warm house and a comfy bed. The reality for many people around Hobart is very different.”


When: Thursday 12 July & 13 Friday July, 2018
Where: Walking from – Bethlehem House, 56 Warwick Street, Hobart to Willie Smith’s Apple Shed, 2064 Huon Highway, Grove over 2 days. Camping at the Springs.
Arrival time: 5pm,at Huon Valley Mid-Winter Festival