"Also what was called apple-howling used to be practised in various counties of England on New-Year's eve. A troop of boys visited the different orchards, and, encircling the apple-trees, repeated the following words:-- "Stand fast, root! bear well, top! Pray God send us a good howling crop: Every twig, apples big; Every bow, apples enow!"
"They then shout in chorus, one of the boys accompanying them on a cow's horn. During this ceremony they rap the trees with their sticks." This is called "wassailing" the trees, and is thought by some to be "a relic of the heathen sacrifice to Pomona." Herrick sings,-- "Wassaile the trees that they may beare You many a plum and many a peare; For more or less fruits they will bring As you so give them wassailing."