What Halloween meant to me
my childhood halloween
In the 1950s , when l was a little girl, l´d never heard of Halloween. l´d never heard the expression ´trick or treat´To my brothers and all our cousins and friends the 31st of October was exciting because it was ´Tucking apple night´or ´The night for bobbing apples´.
It entailed filling a huge bowl (or even better an old tin bath)about half full with tepid water. Then as many apples as you wanted would be put into the water to float.
The object was to pick up an apple without using your hands.So hands behind your back.... no cheating...face into the bowl and try to get your teeth into a runaway apple.
I was rubbish at it. !
Mainly because l hated getting my face under water and of course the easiest way to capture a floating apple was to push it with your mouth against something solid. i.e. the bottom of the tub.You could get a good grip with your teeth that way. At least my brother did.!
l often managed to capture the object of my childish desire by pushing the apple to the side of the tub and getting my teeth into it. That way, l didn´t get quite so wet. At least, my face didn´t.
Not so good for the newspapers that mum would have put under and all around the tub to save the carpet. It never quite worked (poor mum) the carpets always got a good soaking as did our clothes. Ooh! It was fun . Dad was so good at it., but pretended not to be.
The alternative to this waterboarding experience was to hang apples by a piece of string, tied to a line of string fixed across the room.
Once again hands behind our backs mouth only, trying to get your teeth into a swinging apple.!!! Crazy huh!? Oh but we loved it.
It´s one of the only celebrations l can remember that was always just our own family.
Our cousins would talk about their night next day at school..For whatever reason it was not a party gathering, just your immediate family at home.
It seems quite bizarre now, but l have only happy memories of 31st of October.
l´m not sure what happened to all those apples. l´m sure we couldn´t have eaten all the ones we caught. Maybe apple pie was on the menu the next day.....
When did this tradition die out? or hasn´t it? l´ve no idea. l can´t remember the changeover to dressing up as skeletons, ghosts, ghouls or anything else you cared to.
Modern celebrations today, though are far closer to the truth of Halloween than bobbing for apples ever was..
Ask your nearest, friendly neighbourhood satanist and he or she will be happy to tell you about All Hallows Eve. The night of the dead. The Eve before All Saints Day in the calendar of the Catholic church.
It is of course yet another pagan holiday joining hands with Christianity.
In true pagan religion it is called the ´Day of the Dead´but it is a happy celebration for them. A holiday when they remember their deceased family and friends..
The majority of people find the idea of dead people walking around as ghosts a bit scary... Yet still, there will be thousands of ´pretend´ghosts, witches, not to mention The Grim Reaper. plus many other dressing up costumes put on in a few weeks time on 31st October, and they will enjoy themselves as much as l did bobbing apples while trying to keep my face dry.(futile)
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