If the sun shines on Christmas morning and rain falls on Saint Swithin's Day (July 15th), these are both a good omen that the apple orchards will yield a bountiful crop the following season. To ensure that an apple tree bears fruit for many years, an old custom from Germany is for the first fruit of the season to be consumed by a woman who has bore many children.
There exist a number of death omens related to apple trees. For instance, if there should be a single apple left on a tree after the rest of the crop has been picked at harvesting time and it does not fall to the ground before the arrival of the following spring, the family upon whose land the apple tree stands will lose one of its loved ones to the Angel of Death. Interestingly, it is an old Pagan custom in some parts of the world to deliberately leave one apple on the tree at harvesting time as an offering to the spirits. Beware of apple trees that blossom out of season (particularly in the fall), for they are said to presage a death in the family.
Unicorns, according to Pagan folklore, often dwell beneath apple (and ash) trees. Every so often, one or more of these magnificent magickal creatures can be observed eating or wandering about in an apple orchard, especially in the wee morning hours when the countryside is shrouded in a ghostly mist.
Other apple superstitions are as follows: Eating an apple a day is said to "keep the doctor away." Wassailing apple trees on Twelfth Night keeps all manners of evil spirits at bay. Cutting down an apple orchard is said by some to bring bad luck, and many Pagan folks in Norway once believed that by eating apples they could attain "immortality through wisdom." According to an issue of Notes and Queries from the year 1862, "a good apple year is a great year for twins."
Rubbing an apple before eating it is an old method to ensure that the fruit will be free of any evil spirits or demonic entities. Some superstitious folks still believe that if you eat an apple without first rubbing or washing it, you invite the devil to dine with you.
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