Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bobbing for Apples

O.K., so I'm surfing around on the Internet, totally shirking my duties, and I run across this Roman mythology connection to Halloween.  It seems that there was a holiday called Feralia that was designed to give peace to the dead.  Sacrifices were made in honor of them, prayers said, and all that good stuff.  The problem is that it was celebrated on the 21st of February.  Hmmm....

I dug a little further and found that Pope Boniface IV replaced this celebration with All Saint's Day.  This was observed on the 13th of May.  O.K., getting closer....

Then, Pope Gregory III moved the date to November 1st (I suppose to coincide with Samhain). Alright.  Now we're talking.  But, you may say (out loud if you are a little strange), why did you title this entry "Bobbing for Apples?"  Well (I might say back to you if you are a bit schizophrenic), it comes from me typing Feralia into Google.

It seems that there was another Roman festival that might have been pulled into the Halloween celebration the same way as Feralia.  This festival was to the goddess of fruit trees, Pomona.  She was associated heavily with apples.  The theory is that her festival on August 13th was pulled into the Samhain makeover and all that is left now is the bobbing for apples part.

So, dress up your kids or yourself, your dog or cat even, and have fun this Halloween.  Just make sure that while you are engaged in all that tricking and treating stuff that you take some time out to bob for an apple or two and remember poor Pomona, who lost her holiday.  I fear it is pretty much gone forever, as I do not foresee a It's the Great Apple, Charlie Brown coming anytime soon.

By the way, the goddess Pomona does live on and can be found at her blog, Goddess of Pomona, although she very much downplays her deitic roots.

No comments: