Apple bobbing is a classic Halloween game. While the origin of the tradition is often linked to Samhain- historians are more certain that it traveled from the British Isles and was used for fortune telling. After catching your apple, it is said that you would peel it carefully, pass it around your head three times, and then toss it over your shoulder. The peel would *magically* form the first letter of your true love’s name.
That’s a lot of faith in an apple, ain’t it?
While I skip the apple fortune telling, I do like the idea of apple bobbing…except the whole dunk your face in water thing…yeah kinda unsanitary wouldn’t you say? I imagine a group of candy buzzed children slobbering into a bucket…ew. Yup, I’ll pass on that.
If you’re a germaphobe like me, perhaps you would rather try “Snap Apple,” which is another divination game tied to Halloween (don’t worry, you can skip the fortune telling). Interestingly, areas that were big on this game referred to Halloween as “Snap Apple Night.”
My kids enjoy this Halloween custom, and it’s an easy and fun way to celebrate the day. All you have to do is tie a string around the stem of an apple, and suspend it from a tree or the ceiling. The kids have to “catch” their apple with their hands behind their back (no cheating!). Some people choose to blindfold, but I think it’s challenging enough as is. You an make it a race for the kids or just let them go at it- whatever works!
For little ones, you can tie softer foods to strings, like donuts.
Kids find this game very entertaining (and it ain’t easy!). We played Snap Apple for the first time last year, and will be repeating it again this week!
Even though games such as these are rooted in superstition and divination, we can still find the fun in an ancient custom that surrounds one of the most fascinating nights of the year. Happy Halloween!