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Apple Lore

Apple Lore

Shortly before the birth of Christ, the Celtic lands were invaded and conquered by the Roman armies of Julius Caesar. The Roman traditions were eventually blended into the practice of Samhain. The feast of the Roman goddess Pomona was celebrated on November 1st. She was the goddess of the orchards and the harvest, and her feasts consisted of apples, nuts, grapes and other concord fruits. To the Romans, the apple was the symbol of love and fertility. When this was combined with the aura of divination that surrounded the Celtic Samhain, the results were an enchanting mixture of magic and romance.

One mystical aspect of the apple is that if you slice it in half transversely you will find the image of a five pointed star.

Apple Peeling:

A Halloween tradition known as "apple peeling" was a direct result of Roman apple lore. A woman would pare an apple, all the while being very careful to remove the casing in one long strip. She would then toss it over her left shoulder and the peel would land on the floor displaying the shape of the initial of the man she was destined to marry. It was said that to peel an apple at midnight on October 31st while gazing in a mirror would surely cause the face of your future husband to appear.

Bobbing for Apples:

Another way to see who would be the first to marry was to "bob for apples". Apples were floated in a basin filled with water. The first one to take a bite from the fruit using only their mouth would be the next to marry. Bobbing for apples is a common Halloween activity which evolved from the idea of capturing the spirit of the dormant Goddess who will grieve for her consort until Yule. To capture Fruit sacred to her(the apple) was to ensure her continued presence & good will even though she was virtually "incommunicado" for the next six weeks!

It was also very popular to brew a strong concoction of apples, sugar and ale on October 31st, which was served as a traditional holiday drink.

Apple Resolutions:

It's traditional before Sahmain to take an apple, carve it in half,pour your illness or bad habits into it,(or you can write all your bad habits or what you wanted to change on parchment paper & insert it inside the apple),put it back together(use wooden toothpicks),and then bury it in the ground. As the apple rots so too will all your misgivings. This is obviously a direct ancestor of our modern day New Years Resolutions!

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