Monday, October 21, 2013

Snap-apple Night

Trying to bite into an apple. on a string.  revolving.  with candles.  what could go wrong??  Snap-apple was one of the games played on Halloween in Ireland...

"Snap-apple night! ...  the very best of all the sports, so far as the children were concerned, was snap-apple. It was the most spectacular and the most exciting. 

The snap-apple contrivance was hung by a string to the ceiling; two rosy apples were affixed, alternated with two candle ends lighted; then the affair was set revolving briskly, and the fun began. And this fun was not confined to the small folk. Young men and women, staid men and matrons, and even the old folks sometimes took part in the merriment. Each and every one tried to "snap" an apple. Few, very few, were successful; the candle was always treacherously close to the apple, and some of the most venturesome carried away smarting reminders of that fact.

There were, besides (when the colcannon feature of the evening was passed), various games, some of which are as well known in this country as in Ireland, such as diving for silver pieces in tubs of water, or trying to capture with the mouth, unaided by the hands, apples floating in the same liquid. There was a great deal of uproarious fun in these games. They pleased the children mightily, and even the children of larger growth were not ashamed to take part in them at times. For youths and maidens sentimentally inclined there was lead to be melted and nuts to be burned to ascertain facts(?) of the future…"
The Rosary Magazine. Somerset, Ohio: 1905

"Snap-Apple Night" Daniel Maclise, 1833


lead melted (center) and nuts to be burned (left)
While Maureen the lead was melting…
There was Kate, and her sweet-heart Will,
In nuts their true-love burning…

Ducking for apples

For an 1860s Apple Ducking or bobbing for apples image and description including "some tender mammas, timorous on the subject of their offspring catching cold" (nothing new) click HERE

"Colcannon Night" for Halloween, more info  HERE and handing out Soul and Seed Cakes HERE

©2013 Patricia Bixler Reber

1 comment:

  1. I'd always wondered where the custom of bobbing for apples came from. Thanks for posting this.