The magical properties of the apple have been recognised by the Celts
for years who use them in their Samhain festivals.
Great care is taken of the tree, wassailing them at the turn of every
season to ensure good crops for they believed that the
apple was the fruit of the gods.
Blessings and prayers were said in the orchards and hot spiced cider
drunk in toasts to the trees.
Anything left over in the wassailing bowl is poured over the roots as a
tribute to the spirit of the trees.
'Old apple tree we wassail thee and happily thou wilt
bear, for the lord knows where we shall be, till apples another year...'
Two customs that are left over from the Samhain festival and
are still in practice today are the dunking for apples in a barrel
and peeling a apple in front of a mirror to see an image of your future partner.
The Apple Tree Man is the guardian spirit of orchards in Somerset;
he will be found in the oldest tree.
The last apples must be left for him and the pixies to ensure a good
harvest for the next year.
If these are taken or stolen by naughty children
(and lets face it we have all done it!!) this is called pisking,
col-pixying, griggling, pixywarding or pixyhunting.
taken from 'Faeries and Folklore of the British Isles'
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