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Information below from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Apple bobbing, also known as bobbing for apples, is a game customarily played on Halloween. The game is played by filling a tub or a large basin with water and putting apples in the water. Because apples are less dense than water, they will float at the surface. Players (usually children) then try to catch one with their teeth. Use of hands is not allowed, and often are tied behind the back to prevent cheating.
In Scotland this may be called "dooking," i.e. ducking.
In Ireland, mainly Co. Kerry it is known as "Snap Apple", and in Newfoundland and Labrador, Snap Apple Night is a synonym name for Halloween.
Apple bobbing originates from Celtic times when Halloween was called Samhain in some Gaelic languages, when apples were associated with love or fertility. Some say this comes from the Roman goddess Pomona. whilst others note that this game is an important part of the Celtic pagan religious festival of Samhain when families would gather together for a communal feast. The current game is based on a New Year tradition, where whoever bites the apple first in the group will be the first to marry. The similar tradition of throwing rice at a wedding evolved from this, except apples were thrown originally. The popularity of this game is falling, possibly because people may regard it as unsanitary, although there is a variation on the game where the apples are hung on string on a line.Girls who place the apple they bobbed under their pillows are said to dream of their future lover.
On 19 February, 2008, New Yorker, Ashrita Furman, bobbed 33 apples in one minute to establish a world record.
Agatha Christie's mystery Hallowe'en Party is about a girl who is drowned while apple-bobbing.
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