Samhain is a time the spirits walk amongst us and share our homes and hearth. In Irish tradition this is known as Féile na Marbh (the Feast of the Dead). To ensure that a loved one’s spirit returns to bless your home for the coming year, then leave a lit candle to light their way back and an empty chair by the hearth to sit upon once they have returned. A turnip that had a demon’s face carved into it, with a light placed inside it will scare away any negative spirits that come through the veil. The wearing of costumes and masks around this time grew as a way to confused any spirits that wish to call you to the Underworld before your time. They would try to appease these spirits with fruits and nuts and this may be where trick and treating started from.
A symbol used a lot at Samhain is the apple, and it is use in magick. Apple bobbing originally was a marriage race. The first person to bite an apple when be the next to get married, if the person was already married, then they would have good luck for the year. A single person can also peel a long strip of apple and throw it over their shoulder and will fall in the letter of their future spouse. Another tradition within Ireland is the Barm Brack. This is a fruit loaf that has tokens wrapped up in greaseproof paper. If you found one of those token in your slice, it will be a symbol of your year ahead. Some of the most common examples are a ring (for marriage), coin (for wealth), pea (for poverty), stick (for an unhappy marriage). In other parts of Ireland, Colcannon, a dish of mashed potatoes, cabbage and either bacon or ham, has the same token amongst them.