Apple bobbing, also known as bobbing for apples, a game played on Halloween.
The game is played by filling a tub or a large basin with water and putting apples in the water.
Because apples are less dense than water, they will float at the surface.
Players (usually children) then try to catch one with their teeth.
Use of hands is not allowed, and often are tied behind the back to prevent cheating.
In Ireland, mainly Co. Kerry it is known as "Snap Apple",
and in Newfoundland and Labrador, Snap Apple Night is a synonym name for Halloween.
There is a variation on the game where the apples are hung on string on a line.
An old Irish folk tale tells of Stingy Jack, a lazy yet shrewd farmer who uses a cross to trap the Devil. One story says that Jack tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree, and once he was up there Jack quickly placed crosses around the trunk or carved a cross into the bark, so that the Devil couldn't get down. Another myth says that Jack put a key in the Devil's pocket while he was suspended upside-down.
Girls who place the apple they bobbed under their pillows are said to dream of their future lover.
when apples were associated with love or fertility.
Some say this comes from the Roman goddess Pomona
whilst others note that this game is an important part of the Celtic pagan
religious festival of Samhain when families would gather together for a communal feast.
In the United States, the carved pumpkin was first associated with the harvest season in general,
long before it became an emblem of Halloween.
The poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who was born in 1807,
wrote "The Pumpkin" (1850):
|Oh!—fruit loved of boyhood!—the old days recalling,|
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
An old Irish folk tale tells of Stingy Jack,
One story says that Jack tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree,
and once he was up there Jack quickly placed crosses around the trunk or carved a cross into the bark,
so that the Devil couldn't get down.
Another myth says that Jack put a key in the Devil's pocket while he was suspended upside-down.
Another version of the myth says that Jack was getting chased by some villagers from whom he had stolen, when he met the Devil, who claimed it was time for him to die.
However, the thief stalled his death by tempting the Devil with a chance to bedevil the church-going villagers chasing him.
Jack told the Devil to turn into a coin with which he would pay for the stolen goods
(the Devil could take on any shape he wanted);
later, when the coin/Devil disappeared, the Christian villagers would fight over who had stolen it.
The Devil agreed to this plan.
He turned himself into a silver coin and jumped into Jack's wallet,
only to find himself next to a cross Jack had also picked up in the village.
Jack had closed the wallet tight,
and the cross stripped the Devil of his powers; and so he was trapped.
In both myths, Jack only lets the Devil go when he agrees never to take his soul.
After a while the thief died, as all living things do.
Of course, his life had been too sinful for Jack to go to heaven;
however, the Devil had promised not to take his soul,
and so he was barred from hell as well. Jack now had nowhere to go.
He asked how he would see where to go, as he had no light,
and the Devil mockingly tossed him an ember that would never burn out from the flames of hell.
Jack carved out one of his turnips (which was his favourite food),
put the ember inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place.
He became known as "Jack of the Lantern",
A big thank you Anna for hosting this wonderful blog party