Bobbing for apples

From Academic Kids

Bobbing for apples (known in some places as ducking for apples or bobbing for plops in Australia and New Zealand) is a game customarily played on Halloween, but many people have looked upon this game as unsanitary. 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 "bob" or "duck" for the apples, by trying to catch one with their teeth. Use of hands is not allowed.

History

The custom originated among the Celts as part of their celebrations of the Samhain season, celebrations that grew into our modern Halloween. The original custom generally took place during large gatherings of people. Apples, which were associated with love or fertility goddesses, were placed either in a tub of water or suspended from a string, and unmarried attendees would attempt to catch the apple in their mouths. According to tradition, the first person to catch the apple would be the next one to marry -- a tradition that echoes the modern "throwing of the bouquet" at weddings.

Technique

There are two main techniques which have been proven successful.

  1. Open your mouth as wide as possible, and draw your lips as far out of the way as possible to avoid bouncing the apple off your lips, and "bob" down vigorously, clenching your teeth shut immediately as you feel the shock to your teeth.
  2. Keep your lips slightly open and pursed as far in front of your teeth as possible. Use the tactile sensitivity of your lips to place the apple squarely balanced at the tip of your lips and slowly press it down under the water as far as you can. In one movement, open your mouth and when the apple "bobs" up towards your teeth, clamp down, relying on the apples momentum to slam it against your teeth.
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