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ALISON'S HALLOWEEN PAGE

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Traditions

and traditional games!

APPLES!

In ancient times the apple was thought of as a holy or magical fruit. It is no wonder so many Halloween traditions feature apples...

One such tradition is where young people wanted to find out their fortune in love. Each person would tie an apple on a piece of string and spin it round and round. The one whose apple flew off first would be the first to marry. Anyone whose apple did not fly off would remain unwed.

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APPLE BOBBING (DUCKING FOR APPLES)

This is a very well-known game.

For this game some apples are floated in a large tub of water (a clean washing-up bowl will do). The players take it in turns to kneel in front of the bowl with their hands behind their back and try to pick up an apple using only their teeth!

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APPLE PIPS

Apple pips were used as love signs. When a girl had two men to choose from she would get two pips, call each one after the two men, then stick the pips on her cheek. The pip which fell off first was the man she should reject!

Another game was to put an apple pip on the bars of a fire. If the pip burst with a pop it meant a girls boyfriend would be true but if it burned slowly he would not be faithful!

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WASSAILING PARTIES

In apple-growing districts of the UK, such as Devon and Somerset in the West Country it was the custom to hold special ceremonies each winter to encourage the growth of apples in the coming year. These ceremonies were called Wassailing Parties. The wassailers go into the orchards and drink the health of every tree. Then everyone throws part of the drink, followed by stones or even gunshot through the bare branches of the trees. It was once thought that this would drive out any evil spirits in the orchard!

NUTCRACK NIGHT

Young girls would try to discover the course of their relationships by roasting chestnuts. Two nuts are placed side by side on the bars of a firs. If a nut cracks and jumps away it shows that one of them will not be true to the other, but if both nuts blaze away together it is a sign that they will marry. Because of this game Halloween was once known as Nutcrack Night in some parts of Britain!

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MIRROR

It was once a superstition among young people on Halloween to look into a mirror on the stroke of midnight. Instead of seeing their own reflection they should see an image of the person they were supposed to marry!

For more information, and more pics, please visit my personal website!!