Saturday, November 2, 2019

Turnips, Pumpkins and Jack'o'lanterns...

For this year's Jack'o'lantern, I carved...

A turnip. 

I know.
Say WHAT!?!?

Of course, jack'o'lanterns abound at this time of year, carved from the extremely versatile pumpkin. 

Pumpkins originated in the southern and central Americas, and their wonderful orange glow and often elaborately carved faces are synonymous with Halloween or Samhain here at this time of year.

But Halloween has roots in Samhain, the Celtic turning of the year in Ireland and they carved other root vegetables, primarily turnips.

It is believed that the custom of making jack-o'-lanterns at Hallowe'en time began in Ireland.
And turnips, hollowed out to act as lanterns and often carved with grotesque faces, were used on Halloween in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.

In these Gaelic-speaking regions, Halloween was also the festival of Samhain and was seen as a time when supernatural beings and the souls of the dead, walked the earth. Jack-o'-lanterns were also made at Halloween time in Somerset.

The lanterns were could represent either spirits or supernatural beings, or were used to ward off evil spirits; sometimes they were used by Halloween participants to frighten people.
Sometimes they were set on windowsills to keep harmful spirits out of one's home. 

So I am carving my little guardians from turnips as ancestors of mine likely did. 
So here is the Turnip Jack'o'lantern! 
We did not have trick-or-treaters 
this Halloween.  We very, rarely do. 
Most of them go out of the neighbhood to other venues, like trunk-or-treat at local churches. However, we always have some treats and a jack'o'lantern up and are prepared.
But hopefully everyone
had a wonderful, safe Halloween or Samhain, and Blessed Be!
And dang, but I think that unlit black and white photograph below of the little jack'o'lantern turned out spooky!

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