Sunday, 2 February 2014
A is for All Hallows' Eve, Autumn and Apples
I thought I'd work my way through the Hallowe'en Alphabet this year starting with A being for All Hallows' Eve as I mentioned in my post about the origins of Hallowe'en.
A is also for Autumn the season when Hallowe'en occurs (in the Northern Hemisphere anyway). Here is a cute Autumn design I stitched by Erica Michaels on the Rainbow Gallery website
And A is for Apple as the design at the top of this post shows. This is one block from A Dark Alphabet designed by Julie and Becky's Note of Friendship blog.
Apples are believed to be associated with Hallowe'en via the Roman Fertility Goddess Pomona whose festival was held in November. When the Romans came to Britain they discovered the Celts' belief that the pentagram was a fertility symbol. When an apple is sliced in half horizontally rather than vertically, the seeds form a pentagram-like shape, and it is thought that the manifestation of such a symbol meant that the apple could be used to determine marriages during this time of year. From this belief comes the game bobbing for apples. During the annual celebration, young unmarried people try to bite into an apple floating in water or hanging from a string; the first person to bite into the apple would be the next one to be allowed to marry.
Another superstition involves peeling the apple in one long strand and throwing it over your shoulder, the peel will form the initial of your future husband's name. This actually worked for me as my hubby's name begins with S and my peel invariably fell in an S shape. What do you mean, it always falls in an S?
Of course the Christians saw the apple as the downfall of humanity when the Serpent tempted Eve with one in the Garden of Eden, so it is hardly surprising the humble fruit has become associated with the Dark Celebrations of Hallowe'en!
I looked around for some Hallowe'en Apple themed stitching, most of them feature pumpkins rather than apples but I found this one:
Moon and Spider, Apple Cider by Needle Work Press
And this lovely Caramel Apple from Mill Hill:
So how do you like your apples? Bobbed, baked, cooked in a crumble, covered in toffee or caramel? Or maybe pressed into cider?