One Way of Proposing Marriage to a Young Woman in Ancient Greece was to throw an Apple to Her!
Yes, it seems rather funny to us in the present times, but is the truth. Earlier, throwing an apple to a woman was considered to be a way of expressing your love for the woman; and if the woman caught the apple, she accepted your marriage proposal!
Just like most Greek customs, this one too has its origins in an ancient Greek myth. According to legend, the Goddess of conflicts, Eris, was very disturbed by the fact that she wasn’t invited to the wedding of Thetis and Peleus. So as a form of revenge, she threw an apple at the wedding party, with the words “to the most beautiful one” inscribed on it.
The next thing that happened was funny to say the least. The three Goddesses – Athena, Aphrodite and Hera began to argue with one another as to whom the apple had been thrown to. When people saw that they were unable to come to a conclusion, they decided to intervene; and as a way of putting an end to this clash, they ordered Paris of Troy, the Prince who led the famous Trojan War, to decide who the apple was thrown to.
Now the Prince of Troy was bribed by all the three Goddesses to choose them as the winner, but Aphrodite had given him the best offer. She promised him that if he declared her as the owner of this apple, she would bring him his most awaited possession –Helen of Troy.
It was since then that the apple was considered sacred to Goddess Aphrodite and if anyone threw an apple to a woman, it was considered as a declaration of his love. If she accepted the apple, it meant that she accepted the marriage proposal.
This custom and its background story, both are equally intriguing. Besides, the couples in those days used to eat apples on their wedding night as a symbol of love and people also gifted apples to each other.