Halloween Traditions With Swedes And Pumpkins

Although the article quoted below begins with a brief look at the origins of the Halloween traditions, it is far more than this. Pumpkins are featured as are black cats, but then comes the “wonderfully wicked fall color” which includes succulents, heucheras, a red hot capsicum and several dahlias but not the “Chat Noir”. This article is by Andy McIndoe and comes from the Learning With Experts website.

When I was a boy lanterns at Halloween were nearly always made from hollowed out swedes, these are the orange-fleshed root vegetables referred to as turnips in some areas and ?neeps? in Scotland. They are the mashed up orange things you eat with haggis and potatoes. Pumpkins were rarely seen, except in story books. The tradition of making lanterns out of vegetables probably comes from Irish Folklore. Legend has it that a notorious drunkard and prankster called Jack tricked the devil into climbing a tree. He then trapped him there by carving a cross on the trunk of the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that if he promised never to tempt him to drink or trick people again he would release him.

Halloween Pumpkins
When Jack died he was not allowed to enter heaven because of his evil ways. The devil wouldn?t let him into hell either because he had tracked him in life. Instead the devil gave him a glowing ember in a hollowed out turnip to light his was while wandering through eternal darkness; hence the so called ?Jack o? Lantern?, a candle in a hollowed turnip that we light on Halloween. The pumpkin came into play through the early American settlers who found the pumpkin more plentiful than the turnip, and so the tradition grew.
5. Squashes
Certainly here in the UK the pumpkin tradition seems to go from strength to strength and Halloween has become a more important date on the calendar. Visiting various National Trust gardens this year Halloween and pumpkin growing are high on the agenda. No National Trust kitchen garden is complete without its pumpkin patch producing a variety of these massive cucurbits for autumn ?Spooktaculars?.

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