When?

October

Where?

All over Cornwall

Halloween, at the end of October, is celebrated in many places. Today, most people know the American version with its traditions of trick or treating, fancy dress and horror stories. In Cornwall, the celebration is known as Allantide and takes a very different form. 

Red apple for Allantide celebrations
Allantide celebrations traditionally feature large red apples
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Many years ago, in some parts of Cornwall, towns held Allan Markets just before Allantide. These markets sold huge red sweet apples, known as Allan apples. The apples were given as good luck gifts to members of the family. Some people would eat them on the night of Allantide, and some would save them for the day after. Many young girls placed them under their pillows instead, believing that they would make them dream about their future husband. 

Another Allantide tradition involves melting metal until it is a liquid and throwing it into cold water. When cooled, the metal makes a shape that is different almost every time. It was thought that the shape could predict the future, once again showing an unmarried girl who her husband might be. The shape of the metal was said to show the future husband’s job, so if the metal was shaped like a fish he would be a fisherman, if it was a brush he would be a road sweeper, and so on. 

Even today, some people prefer Allantide to Halloween, giving each other red Allan apples to celebrate this special festival.

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