Friday 16 December 2005 1.59pm
It's a traditional thing in cider growing areas where, on 12th night, people go into the orchards with sticks, pans, musical instruments, guns, anything to make a noise basically. The noise is to scare off bad spirits/wake the good spirits in the trees all in the cause of getting a good crop the next year.
There are traditional wassailing songs that are sung (slightly different in different areas), and you drink cider and put a piece of toast, soaked in cider (sometimes beer, but frankly that seems daft because beer doesn't grow on trees) into the branches of one/some of the trees.
It sounds like you need to make some cider, SE1doner....
...if you press it, they will come.