I am not (although I did not make it clear) suggesting that Halloween (All
Hallows eve) is new. No, it is simply the commercialisation that is new, and
I seriously doubt if the concept behind the commercialisation goes back
far - that is to say obtaining 'gifts' by blackmail.
From: Lyle E. Browning
Sent: Monday, November 02, 2015 5:57 PM
To: Malcolm J Watkins
Subject: Re: [BRITARCH] Pumpkin lanterns - a (somewhat) serious question
Well, Pumpkins along with other squash, originated in the New World and
would thus post-date Columbus.
I agree with the overt commercialization of Halloween as a relatively recent
and nasty US import as it starts with the advertising right at September 1
(just after Labor Day/Bank Holiday), but the REAL Halloween goes way back in
> On Nov 2, 2015, at 12:26 PM, Malcolm J Watkins <[log in to unmask]>
> Possibly around in the GB past, but certainly not when I was a child.
> Halloweeen is a recently (re?) imported USA idea as far as I know.
> Nasty greed-mongering idea which has almost completely erased our far more
> gentle recollection of the events leading to the savage and inhumane
> deaths of a number of people, which at least was genuine in its
> -----Original Message----- From: Carol Primrose
> Sent: Sunday, November 01, 2015 1:31 PM Subject: Re: Pumpkin lanterns - a
> (somewhat) serious question
> Even further up here turnips are the big orange ones, swedes are the
> scooterie wee white ones.
> -----Original Message----- From: Dave Tooke
> Sent: Sunday, November 01, 2015 1:17 PM
> 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
> from turnips. Well swedes actually, but back then and up there swedes were
> called turnips.
> Pick a long one not a round one. You get a scarier and more skull like
> Dave Tooke
> 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?
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