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.
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!
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
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!
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!