October is a time for many Halloween Offerings and Traditions. Halloween Offerings such as Kale, nuts, leeks and onions instead of candy were the Halloween offings in days of old. Very disappointing to those of us with sweet tooths, imagine going to the door and someone handing you a bunch of Leeks!! But at that time they were offerings of Harvest and hope for abundance in the coming year and a way of honoring our ancestors.
“In Scotland, young people went blindfolded into the garden to pull kale stalks; later, before the crackling fireplace, the plants would be “read” for revealing signs of the future wife or husband–short and stunted, tall and healthy, withered and old, and so on. The amount of earth clinging to the root was believed to indicate the amount of dowry the player could expect from a mate. The stalks were then hung above the door in a row, and each Halloween visitor was assigned the identity of a vegetable-spouse in turn. Cabbages and leeks were similarly used.
Nuts as a Halloween offering and tradition, have been used for magic since Roman times. Some Scottish and northern English people believed nuts were so powerful that sorcerers called their October 31st celebration “Nut Crack Night”.
Chestnuts and walnuts, both plentiful at harvest time, were popular in early divination games. The most well-known game goes as follows: two nuts are named, each for a potential lover, and put on a grate in the fire. She, who wants to know the future, watches and waits. If a nut burns true and steady, it indicates the lover will have a faithful nature; if it pops in the heat, it indicates the man is not to be trusted.
American History uses apples often for a Halloween offering and tradition, before -store bought candy, things such as popcorn balls, homemade sweets and fruits were given. Cookies piled high on plates and left of porches, as kids had the honor to take one or two. When cold you were invited inside for snacks and hot cidar!!
In old England, apples and nuts were seen as powerful prognosticators. Celtic folk used them in such in their Halloween divination games for centuries. There were some Scottish, Irish and British men and women, people from the northern parts of England that celebrated All Hallows with apples and nuts throughout the heyday of Guy Fawkes, also known as Firework Night, and is still an annual commemoration observed on 5 November. Its history began with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords.
The night of October 31 was known in parts of the British Isles as “Snap Apple Night”. The name of this Halloween Traditions came from an old game played by tying the player’s hands behind his back and having him try to bite an apple suspended from a string. Like their English ancestors before them, Americans used apple dunking to find who will marry first. Whoever could snag an apple from a big bucket filled with water, hands tied behind the back, would be wed soonest.
Whatever you choose as a Halloween offering and tradition, STAY SAFE and have a Happy Halloween.