"There Peggy was dancing with Dan
While Maureen the lead was melting,
To prove how their fortunes ran
With the Cards ould Nancy dealt in;
There was Kate, and her sweet-heart Will,
In nuts their true-love burning,
And poor Norah, though smiling still
She'd missed the snap-apple turning.
On the Festival of Hallow Eve."
Snap-Apple Night by Daniel Maclise portrays a Halloween party in Blarney, Ireland, in 1832. The young people on the left side play various divination games, while children on the right bob for apples. A couple in the center play "Snap-Apple", which involves retrieving an apple hanging from a string.
Halloween is very popular in Ireland, where it originated, and is known in Irish as Oíche Shamhna (pron: ee-hah how-nah), literally "Samhain Night". Pre-Christian Celts had an autumn festival, Samhain (pronounced /ˈsˠaunʲ/from the Old Irish samain), "End of Summer", a pastoral and agricultural "fire festival" or feast, when the dead revisited the mortal world, and large communal bonfires would hence be lit to ward off evil spirits