Definition of wassail bowl in US English:

wassail bowl

(also wassail cup)


  • A large bowl in which wassail was made and from which it was dispensed for the drinking of toasts.

    • ‘The origins of the tradition of using a wassail bowl are thought to stem from celebrations of the solstice by Celtic people.’
    • ‘After dark those taking part process down to the orchard, ceremonially bearing the wassail bowl filled with the prepared booze.’
    • ‘Whereas it had been the custom to fill the bowl with a seasonal drink, the last century witnessed empty wassail bowls, these being carried so that householders could place their gifts in them.’
    • ‘Hey, it wouldn't have taken very many of those wassail bowls of Christmas ale to get pretty cheery.’
    • ‘It seems that the wassail bowls themselves are a very much neglected part of the record and we seek more information on them as well.’
    • ‘As time went on, the tradition was carried on by people going from door to door, bearing good wishes and a wassail bowl of hot, spiced ale.’
    • ‘By 1690 there were many mixed drinks, both hot and cold, that could have been served in a wassail cup.’
    • ‘Wassailers travelled from house to house singing bringing a wassail cup their hosts were expected to fill.’
    • ‘At this time, because it was something that the upper classes were doing, wassail bowls were made of precious metals or expensive wood.’
    • ‘The first carols were Yuletide drinking songs and singers caroled their neighborhoods carrying their wassail bowls with them.’
    • ‘Many great houses had, and no doubt still have, wassail bowls of massive silver.’
    • ‘Witches incorporate ancient pagan traditions into our festivities, traditions like yule logs, giving gifts, wassail cups, mistletoe charms, bringing evergreens into the home and decorating a tree.’
    • ‘In England, the works of Charles Dickens portrayed continued gatherings around the wassail bowl.’
    • ‘Some farmers began bringing wassail bowls into the barnyard to toast the health of their cattle, fruit trees, and fields.’
    • ‘The wassail bowl is to be emptied, it is considered bad luck for the house for any of the brew to be left.’
    • ‘Early American wassail bowls contained a mixture of mulled - or warmed - ale and wine, perked up with spices and sugar and garnished with roasted apples.’
    • ‘The actual ingredients in a traditional wassail bowl are widely disputed.’
    • ‘Spices like ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon as well as sugar and ale were placed in a wassail bowl, heated, and topped with slices of toast.’