As fall festivals and Halloween activities kick into high gear, you may be wondering how they originated. The game of bobbing for apples is based on love. Oktoberfest was created to honor a royal wedding. The origin of haunted houses goes back to an eerie wax exhibit in England. Autumn traditions are here to stay, so serve up a scoop of ice cream and get ready for a ride through history.
Bobbing for Apples
Have you ever tried to grab an apple with your teeth from a barrel full of water? This activity was once a British courting ritual. Each apple was given the name of an eligible bachelor. The ladies would try to capture the apple named after the man she desired. If she got it on the first try, it meant a “happily ever after” ending. If the apple was nabbed on the second try, it meant she would get her guy, but their love wouldn’t last. A third try indicated her attempt at love was doomed.
How Oktoberfest Started
The beer-filled Oktoberfest celebration was created to commemorate the wedding of Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. The couple tied the knot on October 12th, 1810. The public joined in the annual celebration a year later and the party has grown ever since. Beer stands were replaced by beer tents in 1896.
Haunted Houses Keep Dazzling
The idea of scaring people with an attraction began in 19th-century London when Madame Tussaud displayed realistic replicas of famous French people getting their heads chopped off. Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion is credited with sparking the rise in popularity of haunted houses, turning them into a cultural icon. The attraction, which opened in 1969, saw 82,000 visitors on a single day shortly after its debut.
I Want Smores
This popular warm treat made over a campfire dates back to at least 1927, when a recipe for “Some mores” was published in a Girl Scout handbook. The treat consists of a piece of chocolate and a roasted marshmallow squished between two graham crackers.
Corn Mazes and Candy Corn
Candy corn was invented in the 1880’s by candymaker George Renninger. The tricolor treat, originally called “Chicken Feed” , was marketed to the masses by the end of that century. Corn mazes are a relatively new tradition that first popped up in 1993 at a college in Pennsylvania. Don Frantz, the creator, has also produced Super Bowl halftime shows and Broadway musicals.
The Jack-O’ Lantern tradition dates back to the 1500s and is based on a story told by the Irish.
Stingy Jack, who made a deal with the Devil not to claim his soul, found out when he died that God wasn’t accepting him either. Jack was doomed to walk the earth for eternity, with only a burning coal to light his way, which he carried in a carved-out turnip. Pumpkins, which more easily hold candles, later replaced turnips.
Knocking on doors for food on specific holidays dates back to at least the Middle Ages. It became popular in the United States in the 1920’s and ‘30’s. UNICEF got in on the tradition in the 1950’s, and “Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF” was born.
Pumpkin Pie Anyone?
According to historians, neither pumpkin pie nor turkey was part of the feast in Plymouth Colony to celebrate the first harvest. The model for the annual Thanksgiving meal was born after a magazine editor read about the 1621 feast and published recipes for turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, which the public gobbled up.
Special Fall Treat
While you are out and about enjoying a special activity this fall, treat yourself to some delicious homemade ice. Norwood Ice Cream & Candy Company is located in Eldersburg, Maryland. Each unique flavor is handcrafted in the store in small batches, offering customers exciting new ice cream flavor choices every time they come in. Visit us at 5957 Exchange Drive, Suite F. or give us a call at 410-875-7238.