What Halloween meant to me

nice pumpkin
nice pumpkin

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)

beautiful  apples
beautiful apples

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Comments 30 comments

SilverGenes 6 years ago

Your mum must have been a very special woman to not mind getting her carpets soaked through (hehehe). It sounds like you had lots of fun! Bobbing for apples is part of Halloween tradition here, too. And getting caramel or candy apples as a treat is very exciting! We used to have huge bonfires and rather than go house to house trick or treating, everyone gathered at the bonfire for treats, costume parades, hot chocolate and lots of other fun. Fireworks, too :)


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Sounds magical. Thanks for commenting. Take care.


singlmomat52 profile image

singlmomat52 6 years ago

I too have bobbed for apples, it was fun and wet, Lol!!! The first halloween I remember I guess I must have been 4 years old. We did not go trick-or-treating but my uncle came down the hill and brought my sister and I each a tiny bag of jawbreakers. They were so good. I wish all fun a nd safety this Halloween. Thanks for sharing a great story.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

.....always a pleasure to me to have someone like you in my life as a friend, follower/fan and avid reader your fine array of hub subjects ...... just simply hubtremendous you are!!!!!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

epigramman..... you are too kind. Thanks for so much encouragement. I´d have given up writing by now if l wasn´t getting all these wonderful comments.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Hi singlemom.. Nice to see you. Those jawbreakers were a killer, weren´t they? Daren´t try to speak while eating one ...


Springboard profile image

Springboard 6 years ago from Wisconsin

Ah, Halloween. Unfortunately in my city, they get the kids out during the day. What's the scare in that??? :)


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Ha Ha Find that very funny. Maybe the kids scared the taxi drivers....


Loves To Read profile image

Loves To Read 6 years ago

Loved this article as here in Aus and living in the country i had never heard of Halloween. We had a family bonfire held on the 5th November. Where all my fathers family would slowly build a bonfire over a few weeks. Then on that night we would all gather with our bags of fireworks and the heap was lit.

This was such a great night for our cousins and my sister and i.

The next day us kids would all gather back there and hunt everywhere to find the crackers that had not gone off or were dropped in the dark.

We filled in hours and hours. Maybe i should write a hub on it as there is so much to share here.

Peace and Hugs


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

¨Great to hear from you ´Loves To Read´ Happy you enjoyed the article but you know we also had a bonfire on 5th November. The way you describe it sound very similar to ours.

Go ahead write about it !!!!! Always good to hear other hubbers versions of a celebration. I wrote one last year if you have time to look at it... ¨November 5th in the 1950s.¨¨¨ Good to meet you on hubpages, Thank you very much for the feedback. Take care.


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

I to can clearly remember bobbing for apples in a big laundry bucket they provided and yes the trick was to push that apple against something and sink ones teeth into it. I sucked at it, rarely getting an apple.

I also thought of all the spit others had left in the water, so that dampened my spirits somewhat:0) Yet Halloween trick and treating was so much fun and sorting out the coins we received from the candy was great to. Nice hub and brought back some pleasant memories of old. hugs


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Glad you, too have happy memories. Always a joy to see you stop by my page. Take care. x


frogdropping profile image

frogdropping 6 years ago

What a lovely memory 'road trip' Dim. I don't have any such memeories, so it was lovely to share yours. I have many of Bonfire Night though - most involve trips to the hospital with burnt fingers (or bottoms!) as my dad used to get so carried away with it all!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

ha ha , oh no. Not good. Hospital trips. , but you can make anything sound funny. Love your work. Take care and thank a lot for stopping by. x


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

Beautiful Dim as all your work!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Cheers! Manfriend. Thanks for riding by


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Super Hub, Dim. What great memories! Halloween has only recently become something of a thing in South Africa. We aloways celebrated, for some peculiar reason, Guy Fawkes, though!

Thanks for sharing these great moments of your life.

Love and peace

Tony


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Glad you enjoyed. Thanks for stopping by.. Quit amazing Guy Fawkes in S,Africa.???

Maybe there are lots of people like Mr. Fawkes wh´d like to blow up parliament.......


DoorMattnomore 6 years ago

"Ask your nearest, friendly neighbourhood satanist and he or she will be happy to tell you about All Hallows Eve"

hahahaha!! Loved that. Around here, bobbing for apples is still a big part of celebrating, but not the only thing. Thanks for sharing such a happy memory with us.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

so happy we still have same sense of humour... Wacky!!!


DoorMattnomore 6 years ago

=) wacky I am!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

he hee. Glad you took that the way it was meant. love you girl, take care.


Winsome profile image

Winsome 6 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Hi DF, I enjoyed very much your experiences. I guess apples and halloween are linked by harvest times and their use as pre-candy treats. I also remember the passing of the apple from boy to girl without using your hands. Thanks for the fun memories. =:)


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Oh yes. l´d forgoten that one, passing with your chins ??? Right? Thanks for reading.


Jess Killmenow profile image

Jess Killmenow 6 years ago from Nowheresville, Eastern United States

Love it, Dim. Makes me want to cut a pumpkin :)


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Then l think , Jess, you should go ahead and do just that.... Go cut a pumpkin.. Thanks for reading


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

This hub brings me back to times as a kid remembering Halloween, and the times I had with friends. So magical and wonderful. And it wasn't that long ago either. Heh! Great hub! The social interaction and games and fun of Halloween is what makes it so wonderful.


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

Great to see you over here on my page. Thank you for the comment.Magical is the word., yes.


blaise25 profile image

blaise25 6 years ago from close to you...

That was so exciting. Loved them apples! :) Happy Halloween, Dim!


Dim Flaxenwick profile image

Dim Flaxenwick 6 years ago from Great Britain Author

thank you, dear friend. best wishes to you and yours

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