Dookin' for Apples

Dookin' for apples normally takes place in a large bucket of water. Around a dozen apples are allowed to float around the surface and the player tries to pull out an apple using only their mouth. A clever player may try and align their mouth with an apple stalk to remove it from the water otherwise the player has to try and take a bite of the apple whilst removing it from the bucket. If a player takes too long they may find their own head being dooked into the bucket by those waiting for their own turn and they will then emerge with a very wet face. A variation is to get a chair and pull it up alongside the bucket and the person playing has to drop a fork from their mouth into the bucket to prong an apple. The prize is usually the apple and a small sweet prize.

The Glaswegian or Scottish Word is Dook. The English meaning of dook is: to dip something into another thing, e.g. Dooking for apples where the face is plunged into a bowl of apple infested water in the ludicrously vain hope of actually catching one in your teeth (from

In terms of its history, 'For example, the practice of bobbing for apples in a bucket began as a Samhain tradition called dooking for apples. Many people bob for apples at Halloween parties all over the world, but not all of these people are aware that the practice of trying to get apples out of a bucket by ducking over the bucket and grabbing the fruit with your teeth is an old Celtic game that is a part of the Samhain festivities' ( from

The origins of bobbing for apples apparently stems back to the ancient Celts who believed that Heaven would be full of apple trees full of fruit and flowers. The game is thought to date back to this belief and the Celtic festival Samhain which marked the beginning of winter on the 1 November. It was popularised by the Romans who believed that apples were the symbol of love. They would play the game during their autumn festival of Pomona. The game continues to be played long after the Romans left Britain and is now played worldwide.

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