Apples and Halloween
Aside from the mandatory toffee apples, the history of Halloween with this delicious fruit doesn’t end there. You’ve probably heard of, or even participated in, bobbing for apples before. This is a classic Halloween game where people bend over a bucket of apples floating in the water and try to bite one of them. Ever wondered where this slightly strange tradition comes from? Well, it’s rooted in history, and it has an element of romance!
The Idea First Came From Europe
British fruit historian and apple expert Joan Morgan says that apples, apple peels, and pips have long been a symbol of fertility, magic, and immortality in European history. When Europeans carried apple seeds on their voyage to North America, they quite literally brought those ideas to America. Since apples are aphrodisiacs, they are believed to boost carnal desire, ergo connected with helping people find a partner.
There are different versions of the same game played in many European countries. Guys would put apples with their names on it and girls would bob for them. If she’d manage to bite the right apple the first time, their love interest is theirs for the taking; if she manages from the second time, their romance won’t last; if it takes three trials, it meant the stars weren’t aligned for that union to happen.
A lot has changed in the game since, but there are many versions of the story even today. Some believe that the first single adult to bite an apple will be the first to marry. Other origins of bobbing for apples include the Snap Apple game popular in England and Ireland. Apples are hung from the ceiling with a candle on the upper side. That way the bobber has to be careful not to get covered in hot wax while trying to bite the apple.
Halloween and its many mysteries, eh?