The Story Behind Seven Fall Food Traditions

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The Story Behind Seven Fall Food Traditions
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The Story Behind Seven Fall Food Traditions

Autumn traditions are tasty and fun. The following activities have a rich history and an even more delicious result.

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Apple Picking

Apples trees have been in America since 1620, thanks to the Pilgrims. Colonial Americans relied on apples for apple butter, cider and pies. Since the fruit is at its peak in fall, it is no surprise that apple picking became a beloved fall tradition.

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Trick-Or-Treating

Trick-or-treating is said to go back to the pre-Christian Celtic festival of Samhain, celebrated on October 31. The Celts believed that the deceased came back to life. Some villagers would dress in animal skins to drive away evil spirits while edible offerings were left out to appease any welcome phantoms.

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Carving Pumpkins

Carved pumpkins also date back to Celtic traditions. To please welcome spirits -- and scare away bad ones – people left jack-o'-lanterns on their porches and windows. Burning lumps of coal were commonly used to illuminate the pumpkins before candles became common.

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Eating from a Cornucopia

The cornucopia is a common symbol of the harvest festival. Also known as the “horn of plenty,” it suggests abundance, so it makes sense for cornucopia to make an appearance at Thanksgiving tables. Interestingly, its origins are actually form Greek mythology, where it is said that a goat named Amalthea broke off one of her horns and offered it to Zeus, the ruler of all the gods.

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Making Cornhusk Dolls

Native Americans made these popular dolls out of – you guessed it! – corn husks! This is an excellent example of how important and versatile corn was to the Native Americans. Corn husks could be used to fill mattresses and even as paper. Children still make cornhusk dolls in school to learn about Thanksgiving.

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Eating Candied Apples

Candied apples have existed for over 100 years. In 1908 a candy maker named William W. Kolb invented the treat when he’d been experimenting with a cinnamon hard candy recipe for the holiday season. He then decided to dip some apples into his mixture and the rest is history.

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Bobbing For Apples

This classic Halloween game – with mild health risks – is actually an ancient method of courtship. Romans conquered Britain and brought apples along with them. The Celts believed that, when cut in half, the apple resembled the pentagram, a fertility symbol. Young unmarried individuals would bob for apples believing that the game would determine who could marry next.

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Are you in the spirit for fall? Activities like pumpkin carving, apple picking and trick-or-treating are finally here, but have you ever wondered why these activities have become fall traditions? Turns out most fall activities have to do with the change of season in and of itself. Seasonal fruits and veggies that become available in autumn dictate these fun traditions in a most delicious way. Some traditions even date back to Roman times!

Check out the slideshow above to learn more about the history of your favorite fall traditions.

More from Kitchen Daily:
The top six fall fruits
How to carve a pumpkin
The story behind your favorite Halloween candy

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