Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Carving the Turnip

I have been dabbling with geneology a bit.  Mostly I use ancestry.com because I can let other people do most of the work and then I swoop in and tap into their information.  That's not lazy; it is just smart.  With all this swooping I have definitely confirmed that I have plenty of Irish roots.  I like that, but I don't really know why.  I don't really know all that much about Ireland but I really do like Irish accents.  Of course, who doesn't?

Last night I was online looking up things about Halloween.  I'm not much of a Halloween enthusiast although I certainly did enjoy it as a child.  That was BACK IN THE DAY when people gave kids full-size candy bars!  It was always fun to me.  I think I was always a gypsy for Halloween.  It was easy, just borrow clothes and jewelry from my mom.  Since we moved a lot, the gypsy persona kind of fit for me.

I know;  I'm rambling.  I was going to tell you what I learned about Halloween.  I learned that the tradition of trick-or-treating was thought to have come over with the Irish.  They had a tradition of going door to door collecting yummy things for a community harvest feast or something.  If someone didn't cooperate, they played mean tricks on them.  That doesn't sound very nice but that's not the part that made me smile.

The site I was reading (I've forgotten where it was or I'd tell you) said that the Irish used to carve out turnips and set lit candles inside of them.  I guess it made the feast more festive or something.  

(photo from molempire.com )

When the Irish came to America they found the pumpkins here to be more fun to carve than turnips.

  This story may or may not be true. 

 Now you know. 

1 comment:

Kirsteen said...

Here in Scotland the tradition is also to carve turnips rather than pumpkins, since pumpkins wouldn't have been around here in days past!

We share a lot of our traditions with the Irish so I couldn't say who did it first :0)

A few years ago I tried carving a turnip instead of pumpkin but soon found out why we decided to copy the American way of doing things - it was so hard! I've stuck to pumpkins since then!

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