Turnip lanterns

When I was a kid, up in the North East of England, there was none of this pumpkin carving business, we were tough, we hollowed out turnips for our lanterns.

If you’ve ever tried to hollow out a turnip, you’ll know that a pumpkin is a much better option, pumpkins are soft and easy to carve, turnips are not. Anyhow, I now live down South, and there was not a turnip to be seen on Halloween. So I did some searching, and discovered that the turnip lanterns were the original Jack O Lantern, and is an Irish custom, therefore it was not surprising that in Gateshead we had the turnip lanterns as there was a lot of Irish immigration into that area in the 19th century. The Irish weren’t only coming to the North of England however and those that emigrated to the USA continued their tradition but used the more plentiful (and easier to carve) pumpkins, a tradition that has since been re-imported into the UK and here in the South everyone is carving pumpkins.

Maybe next year I’ll make the Small Person carve a turnip, tell her it is tradition.

Cheryl on the 01 Jan 2001:

How clever. I just realized your head boxes shift about on reload. No coffee yet, so I can’t even begin to imagine how you do that. Cheers.

Rachel on the 01 Jan 2001:

There are classes sq1 to sq4, which are the different colors and the empty one. I am just using PHP to randomly select the class names … I like peeking out from behind my squares.

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