Do you view acorns as a traditional Halloween symbol or just part of autumn or fall decor? Views on acorns and their role in Halloween are varied, and while some use acorns in their decorative schemes, not all revere acorns for their perceived magical properties. Acorns have long been used as magical, sacred items by witches and were important to the ancient Celts and their priests: the druids. Additionally, acorns are found in many myths and cultures ranging from the Nordic traditions to Native Americans. The druids, whom the earliest Halloween traditions are attributed to, viewed acorns as a symbol of magic and used them in many rituals and practices including Samhain, according to Witchipedia. Druids left few historical records; however, alternative sources confirmed the practice of using acorns in rituals. For the druids, oaks were sacred and acorns represented the magic of rebirth. While you might see acorns in modern-day, Halloween and autumn crafts and decor, acorns once served a magical purpose in Halloween traditions, customs, and rituals.
The book The Hallowed Eve: Dimensions of Culture in a Calendar Festival in Northern Ireland by Jack Santino shared a Halloween poem written by B.M. Teggart in 1898. The book discusses early Irish traditions, customs, and Halloween symbols and included in the poem is mention of acorns. Written works such as Teggart’s poem helps modern generations take a look back into time and presents a picture of what Halloween celebrations were like at the turn of the century.
“A few have nuts, a very few;
Poor withered ones, I ween
An’ these when burning, two and two,
Tell tales at Halloween”
“And some have acorns—these once graced
By fairy king and queen
Upon the low back hob are placed
For luck, at Halloween”
The blog Stag and Eagle discussed acorns in lore and use and reported that during the Salem witch trials, acorns were given as a secret way of identifying one witch from another. There are many ancient stories that involve acorns and oak and according to the site Witch Scrolls, the practice of “knocking on wood” for good luck, began as “knocking on oak.”
There are many magical uses associated with acorns to be found, but for many who celebrate the secular aspects of Halloween, acorns are viewed as little more than fall crafts and decorations. Some choose to collect acorns from outside and bring them in the house. Popular acorn crafts include making wreaths, filling glass, or transparent jars with multiple acorns and even painting them. Here is an example of a cute, Halloween acorn craft that consists of taking acorns, painting the lower half orange and the top black. The acorn then becomes a mini pumpkin or jack-o-lantern, complete with jack-o-lantern face. As acorns are plentiful, these make fun, Halloween crafts for kids and adults.
Many are surprised to learn that certain acorns are edible. It is because acorns were used as a food source, that many cultures attributed them with magical powers and as sustainers of life. The Woodland Trust shared five recipes featuring acorns. While many animals in the forest routinely eat acorns in their raw, natural state, humans can’t digest acorns in this manner. It’s important that acorns are leached to remove tannins before roasting or cooking. You can even use acorns to create acorn flour or acorn coffee.
Check out these five, easy acorn recipes below and see if they aren’t a good addition to your Halloween celebration.
If you don’t feel like eating real acorns this Halloween but want to include acorns in your menu, you might be interested in several recipes that use Hershey’s Kisses to create an acorn dessert. The first recipe from iSave A-Z uses nutter-butter style cookies as the acorn top and Hershey’s Kisses for the base. The acorn recipe is simple and easy to follow and makes a great Halloween or fall craft kids can participate in. You may see photos of the finished, Hershey’s Kisses Acorns below.
The second Hershey’s Kisses Acorn recipe comes from My Military Savings and features a variation on the finished product. Instead of using nutter-butter type cookies, the following recipe uses vanilla wafers. In addition to plain, chocolate Hershey’s Kisses, the recipe also uses the select flavored, pumpkin spice Hershey’s Kisses. You may see a photo below.
Are you going to incorporate acorns into your Halloween traditions this year?
[Featured Image by Yasonya/Shutterstock]