The History Behind Your Favorite Fall Activities

As the fall season approaches with its cooler temps, everyone instinctively prepares for the fun autumn activities that we have all done as kids. Autumn is a remarkable time of year, the leaves turn brown and fall.

The landscape around us changes as summer retreats. Autumn is also an excellent opportunity for amateur photographers seeking to capture awesome before and after Autumn pictures for their portfolio.

In fact from bobbing for apples to building a scarecrow, there are quite a few activities that embody the fall season. Have you ever wondered about the history associated with those traditional activities that you do each year? You might be surprised by the origination of some of these great ideas.

Bobbing for Apples

Believe it or not, the tradition of bobbing for apples dates back to the Roman invasion of Britain when the army decided to pair their own celebrations with traditional Celtic festivals. The Romans brought an apple tree to the festivities because they believed that a fruit tree represented Pomona, who is the goddess of fruit and trees. The festival of Feralia occurred near the end of October and honored the passing of the dead. The apple, which is the symbol of Pomona, was soon incorporated into the celebrations—one of those being bobbing for apples.

Carving Pumpkins

There are many stories pertaining to the tradition of carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, which vary with the location. The most popular story ties the custom making of jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween to Ireland. The carved pumpkins were supposed to represent the spirits or supernatural beings or were used to ward off evil spirits. Since Halloween is the eve of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day is November 2, there are a lot of representative variances.

Pumpkin Pie

According to historians, the feast in Plymouth Colony to celebrate the first harvest did not include turkey and pumpkin pie. Apparently, Americans didn’t start eating turkeys for Thanksgiving until the mid-1800s. During this time, a popular magazine editor named Sarah Josepha Hale read about the feast of 1621 and used the model for an annual holiday. Hale published a number of recipes for turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie. Her recipe publication was well received by readers and started the tradition of eating delicious pumpkin pie.


The cornucopia is a symbol that represents a plentiful harvest. According to an Ancient Greek legend, gods and goddesses sat at tables where a real goat’s horn was filled with fruits and grains. The legend says that Amalthea accidentally broke off one of her horns. Zeus felt very bad for her and promised that the horn would bring her whatever she needed or wanted. As time went on, the overall shape of the cornucopia remained the same—and now many families recreate the harvest icon by filling waffle cones with treats and goodies for their kids.

Candy Corn

Candy corn is associated with autumn because of the corn’s link to the fall harvest. Candy corn was invented in the 1880s by a Wunderlee Candy Company employee named George Renninger. When the delicious treat was initially made, the cooking process was done by hand. A sugar and corn syrup-based mixture was cooked into a slurry inside a large kettle, then dumped into buckets which were called runners, and then workers would pour the hot liquid into corn kernel shaped molds.

In the 1920s, candy corn was nicknamed chicken feed because it was sold in a box with a rooster on the front. These days, candy corn has taken on a whole new light since there is now candy corn-flavored bagels, Oreos, M&Ms, and coffee.


Now while you enjoy all of your favorite fall activities with the kids, you’ll all know the history behind them.

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