Apple Parings—In this popular Halloween FORTUNE-TELLING custom, an APPLE is pared, then the peelings are waved over the head THREE times before being thrown over the left shoulder; supposedly the peelings will form the initials of one’s future beloved. The fortune-seeker is advised to recite these lines while swinging the paring overhead:
I pare this pippin round and round again,
My sweetheart’s name to flourish on the plain;
I fling the unbroken paring o’er my head,
My sweetheart’s letter on the ground to read.
This divination was said to be popular with American Colonial maidens, who instead recited:
By this paring let me discover
The initial letter of my true lover
The poem to be recited is sometimes given as this:
Paring, paring, long and green,
Tell my Fate for Hallowe’en.
In a variant, the peelings are thrown into a bowl of WATER; another version (which is similar to one custom involving KALE) has it that the peel is hung from a nail by the front door, and the first man to enter will have the same initials as the future husband.