The Fortunetelling History Of Bobbing For Apples

Apples are a staple of fall. As one of the most popular crops harvested as the weather begins to cool down, people looking for a fun activity can head to the cider mill and pick their own apples. They can be used to make candied apples or bake a delicious apple pie. According to CNN, apples are so beloved during the fall season that they actually used to be given out during trick or treating. One popular party game, bobbing for apples, involves biting apples out of a bucket of water to win.

Bobbing for apples was popularized in America in the late 1800s, according to Martha Stewart. The game lost its popularity in Ireland and England earlier in the century, but American descendants of the countries brought the tradition back as a fun way to celebrate the apples produced during the fall harvest. Though we may not rely on the fruit to tell our fortunes these days, bobbing for apples was once a way for people to predict their futures.

This game could predict your love life

According to History, there were several variations of the game, including one once used to predict love and marriage. One version stated that each apple was assigned to a different man, and a lady would attempt to bite the one for the man she desired. If she was able to get it without much difficulty, it meant they were destined for romance. If she needed two attempts, the legend says they would court, but the love would fade over time. Anything three and beyond stated that the romance was doomed.

Another version of the game stated that multiple women would play the game at the same time. The first girl to successfully bite an apple would be the first to get married. Another superstition states that if a girl wished to see her future soulmate in her dream, she should put the bitten apple underneath her pillow when she went to sleep that night. These superstitions may have been popular in the 1400s, but today, bobbing for apples is simply a fun tradition during the Halloween season (via Martha Stewart).