Add a modern twist to a fun Hal­loween tra­di­tion

The Drumheller Mail - - AROUND TOWN -

Ap­ples are syn­ony­mous with au­tumn. Ap­ples ripen as the cool days of fall be­gin to ar­rive, and come Hal­loween, ap­ples are a part of spooky cel­e­bra­tions that can be used for treats and games and as part of sea­sonal dec­o­rat­ing.

Ap­ple bob­bing is one au­tumn tra­di­tion that in­volves the use of ap­ples. De­spite the pop­u­lar­ity of ap­ple bob­bing around Hal­loween, some his­to­ri­ans be­lieve the tra­di­tion of bob­bing for ap­ples is rooted in love and ro­mance and has lit­tle to do with trick-or-treat­ing. Ac­cord­ing to His­, ap­ple bob­bing be­gan as a court­ing rit­ual. While the rules of the game var­ied, the idea was to at­tempt to bite into the ap­ple named for the young man the wo­man de­sired. This method of court­ing even­tu­ally be­came less pop­u­lar, but bob­bing for ap­ples was res­ur­rected in the early 20th cen­tury when Amer­i­cans who traced their roots to Ire­land and Eng­land be­gan play­ing the game at Hal­loween par­ties.

Ap­ple bob­bing has also been linked to Samhain, the pre­cur­sor to modern day Hal­loween. Celts be­lieved ap­ples could be used to de­ter­mine if mar­riages would oc­cur dur­ing a cer­tain time of year. Young, un­mar­ried peo­ple would at­tempt to bite into an ap­ple float­ing in wa­ter or hang­ing from a string. The first to bite the ap­ple would be the next to marry.

Al­though ap­ple bob­bing still oc­curs to­day, many es­chew the tra­di­tion be­cause of germs. The con­cept of stick­ing one’s face into a com­mu­nal bucket of wa­ter isn’t ap­peal­ing in a so­ci­ety that pri­or­i­tizes san­i­tary be­hav­ior. Those who grew up bob­bing for ap­ples and want to con­tinue the tra­di­tion in a more san­i­tary way can cre­ate in­di­vid­u­al­ized games. In­stead of one large bucket, pur­chase smaller buck­ets and fill them with wa­ter. Place a cou­ple of ap­ples in each bucket and let par­tic­i­pants race to see who can grab an ap­ple first.

Another vari­a­tion is to tie ap­ples from strings and sus­pend them from a clothes­line or a hor­i­zon­tal beam, as the an­cient Celts once did. Par­tic­i­pants try to grab the ap­ples us­ing only their mouths.

Some might be sur­prised to learn that bob­bing for ap­ples is rooted in an­cient cus­toms that may have had some­thing to do with mar­riage. While few would pair mat­ri­mony with bob­bing for ap­ples to­day, this fun tra­di­tion can still be en­joyed by Hal­loween rev­el­ers.

Ap­ple.bob­ out.po­ten­tial.mar­riage.suit ors..Since.then,.it.has. be­­­mar­ily.for. chil­dren.

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