Halloween apple games have been played at parties for centuries. All of these traditional Halloween games originated in Ireland during pagan times. They were played during the festival of Samhain, when everyone had come home from the bonfire. People believed that these games could predict the future.
Bobbing For Apples
A basin of water was filled and apples were put floating in it. Everyone tried to take a bite of an apple with their teeth, while their hands were tied behind their backs. It was believed that whoever got the first bite of an apple would be the first to marry.
Sometimes a coin was placed in one apple. If you took a bite of this apple, it meant that you would be rich in the future. If you took a bite of a rotten apple, it meant that you would have bad luck.
People would save their apples and eat them at midnight to ensure good luck in the future.
A variation of this game involved placing some coins at the bottom of the basin. People would dunk their heads into the water and try to fish out the coins with their teeth.
Apples were suspended from the ceiling by pieces of string. The children were blindfolded and their hands were tied behind their backs. The first child to get a decent bite out of their apple would be the first to marry.
Sometimes one apple with a coin in it would be strung up to be bitten by the players. Whoever found the coin would be prosperous in the future.
It was also thought that if the girls put the apple they bit under their pillow that night, they would dream of their future lover.
In a variation of this game, a wooden cross was hung from the rafters by a string. Apples were stuck on both arms of the cross. The head and foot of the cross had burning candles fitted to them. Then the cross was set spinning around like a fan. The players had their arms tied behind their backs and had to try and bite into an apple without burning themselves.
This game was so popular that, in England, Halloween was often called “Snap Apple Night”.
Each guest at the party was given an apple and a paring knife. They had to peel the apple from top to bottom in a continuous circle, making sure that peel did not break. Once they had an unbroken apple peel, they had to throw it over their shoulder while chanting “Peel, peel, please reveal, the initial letter, of my true love.” The apple peel would fall on the floor in the shape of letter of the alphabet. That letter would be the initial your true love.
After this game, girls saved their apples, because it was believed that if a girl ate the apple at midnight, in front of a mirror, her future husband would be glimpsed looking over her shoulder.
Take an apple and slice it in half. Count the seeds in the apple core. The number of seeds will predict the future for your next year.
One seed means you will be alone.
Two seeds foretells an early marriage.
Three seeds foretell legacy.
Four seeds foretell great wealth.
Five seeds predict a sea voyage.
Six seeds predict you will be famous.
Seven seeds means your deepest wish will come true.
Young girls would take the apple seeds and stick them to the outside of their cheek. Each apple seed stood for a boy she liked. The seeds would fall off and the last one that stayed stuck to her cheek was her true love.
Twirl The Apple
Girls would play this game by taking an apple with a long stem and tying a piece of string to it. Each girl would twirl the apple over the fire. The girl whose apple broke off first and fell into the fire would be the first to marry. The order of their marriage depended on how long their apples took to go into fire. The girl whose apple remained on the string the longest would never marry. If the apple fell into the fire and then rolled out, it meant that the girl would go on a long trip after she got married.
The Apple and the Mirror
This was an old Celtic ritual that would foretell the future. You have to take and apple and sit in front of a mirror, just before midnight. Light a candle and sit with your back to the mirror. Slice the apple into nine pieces. Ask a question, then eat eight pieces of the apple. Throw the ninth piece over your shoulder. Then, look over your shoulder and stare at your image in the mirror. Allow your vision to blur. In the mirror, you will see and image or a symbol that will give you the answer to your question.