Friday, October 14, 2011

Happy "Snap Apple Night" - Postcard Friendship Friday #85

In parts of the north of England, Halloween was known as Nut-crack Night.  Nuts were put on the fire and, according to their behavior in the flames, forecast faithfulness in sweethearts and the success, or failure of marriages. 

In Lancashire, England 'Lating' or 'Lighting the witches' was an important Halloween custom. People would carry candles from eleven to midnight.  If the candles burned steadily the carriers were safe for the season, but if the witches blew them out, the omen was bad indeed.

Halloween was also sometimes called Snap Apple Night. The original game of Snap Apple was played with apples suspended on a long piece of string.  Players had to try an bite the apple without using their hands. Another way to play the game was to fix an apple and a lighted candle at opposite ends of a stick suspended horizontally and to swing the stick round.  The object was to catch the apple between the teeth whilst avoiding the candle.   Bobbing for Apples in a vat of water is a much safer variation of this game!

Many places in England combined Halloween with Mischief Night when boys played all kinds of practical jokes on their neighbors.  They changed shop signs, took gates off their hinges, whitewashed doors, and tied door latches.  Things which, if done today, might land them in the jailhouse!

Happy Snap Apple Night, everyone!

*  NOTE: You don't have to stick to the theme I choose each Friday. Just put up the postcards you love and tell us why you like them.

*  Don't forget to visit Gemma at Greyscale Territory for Weekend Mailbox.

*  REMINDER: Comments and links which contain advertising and do not refer to any of the following; Postcard Friendship Friday, mailboxes, the Post office, postcards or the love of postcards, will be deleted.


dakotaboo said...

Great postcard and an interesting history lesson, which I feel that coming from the UK I should have already known. I'm not theming this week as Halloween postcards seem few and far between in the UK, but hopefully my selection for this week will be of interest. Happy PFF !!

Irene said...

what a wonderful postcard and you are always so informative

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

We used to bob for apples in Ireland when I was growing up, also trying to catch them when the were suspended on strings. I do remember asking my grandmother why we didn't have Bonfire Night instead.

Snap said...

Wonderful card and I love the information you come up with. NutCrack Night ... who knew? And the candles ... don't blow them out! I remember bobbing for apples when I was very young (a very looooong time ago)!!Happy PFF!

Dorincard said...

Cute postcard, cool info! :) My cat blogpost is partially black...

Grace Bailhache said...

Third try !

I have a problem posting from this google account since yesterday but now that I have change the codes hope it will run.

Well, I must say I had a crush for this lovely card. I didn't knew England had such a relation with Haloween.

Happy PFF

Clytie said...

I like the card! I too had no idea of some of these early traditions of Halloween. I like the snap apple idea - I've seen the apple on a string game before, as well as bobbing for apples. Not the candle one though thank goodness.

Happy PFF!!!

Heather said...

I love all these Halloween stories. They are all new to me. Thanks. Love the card.