For my great-gran (from County Durham), the term 'turnip' covered pretty
much the whole gamut of root vegetables with the notable exception of
carrots and potatoes.
The term was then refined for the sake of clarity by colour, size and shape.
Reminds me of Baldrick and his great love...
I too remember making lanterns from swedes (aka big yellow turnips) but
never pumpkins till more recently.
From: British archaeology discussion list [mailto:[log in to unmask]]
On Behalf Of Dave Tooke
Sent: 01 November 2015 13:18
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Pumpkin lanterns - a (somewhat) serious question
Pumpkin lanterns seem to me to me a recent development.
When I was young, back in the late 50s early 60s we made Hallowe'en lanterns
from turnips. Well swedes actually, but back then and up there swedes were
Pick a long one not a round one. You get a scarier and more skull like
Sent from my iPhone
> On 1 Nov 2015, at 13:09, John Wood
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> It is my suspicion that lanterns such as these were commonplace in the
> past and we only have 'pumpkin lamps' at Halloween because we no
> longer use them generally.
>> On 11/1/15, Michael <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Yesterday as I scooped out all the innards of the pumpkin trying to
>> thin it down to the skin, I began wondering why I was doing it, when
>> so many people these days just spend five minutes cutting a few holes.
>> The first obvious thing was that I make pumpkin pie (or more
>> accurately honey, apple and pumpkin pie) The second is that the
>> innards are turned into green goo for dipping for coins (pumpkin
>> innards, green children's paint and some flour with half a cup of
>> 5p/1p & perhaps a few bigger ones).
>> But the real intention was to make the skin of the pumpkin as
>> translucent as possible so that the candle would show through
>> (although these days with the super star-killing street lights, it's
>> difficult to see the pumpkin - so hence three candles this year).
>> And then it hit me, that in the not too distant past, when people
>> could see the stars at night, but couldn't see their own feet for the
>> dark. If people went around with young children, at the time of year
>> when very young children start experiencing the winter dark during
>> their waking hours, then they too would have needed light.
>> So, perhaps they also carried around a light - and to avoid wind, the
>> candle or oil-lamp would need to be in a protective enclosure - and
>> what simpler way to make such a wind enclosure is by scooping out a
>> "pumpkin". So perhaps the reason we have "pumpkin lights" is a direct
>> descendant of the ordinary kinds of lights that ordinary people used
>> - although obviously it would have been something like a neep (turnip).
>> But of course, there would be absolutely no archaeological record of
>> something as ephemeral as a "pumpkin light"
>> ... or would there?