Why did they carve turnips?

On Samhain eve, October 31, spirits of the dead were thought to mingle with the living. To ward off restless souls, people donned costumes and carved frightening faces into root vegetables such as beets, potatoes, and turnips—usually plentiful after the recent harvest.

Why did Celts carve turnips?

Long before pumpkins and gourds ruled over late October, root vegetables reigned supreme. But it wasn’t just in the name of spooky fun.

Why were turnips used for jack-o-lanterns?

Turnips might not seem that exciting to you, but they’ve actually had an interesting part in history. Turnips were the first Jack-o-Lanterns in Ireland and Scotland. They were carved to ward off evil spirits and other unwanted travelers and eventually became a Halloween tradition.

Who started carving turnips?

Maoris began carving them for lanterns 700 years ago – the Maori word for “gourd” and “lampshade” are actually the same. According to Irish folklore, a man called Jack O’Lantern was sentenced to roam the earth for eternity.

What did the Celts carve instead of pumpkins?

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, however, chiseling ghoulish grins into turnips was the more common practice (at least in Ireland and other Celtic nations). …

How did Jack trick the devil?

Jack tricked the Devil by offering his soul in exchange for one last drink. The Devil quickly turned himself into a sixpence to pay the bartender, but Jack immediately snatched the coin and deposited it into his pocket, next to a silver cross that he was carrying.

What do the Irish call Halloween?

Halloween in Ireland has been celebrated for centuries and first originated from the festival of Samhain which dates back over 2,000 years. Samhain in Ireland was an important festival, it marked the end of the bright half of the year and the start of the dark half.

Are turnips popular in Ireland?

Another popular meal in Ireland is made from turnips. As Ireland has a wet climate it’s the perfect place for growing turnips which is popular in the farming industry. Like potatoes, the turnips are cheap to purchase, easy to make and can be added to a variety of meals.

What is the story behind pumpkin carving?

The origins of pumpkin carving and decoration goes far back to ancient cultures of the world. Celtic cultures were the first to introduce carving to the scene, which later became a staple of Irish culture. … The carved produce served as a deterrent to keep Jack away, while lighting the way for good spirits.

What does rag in the cake mean?

The traditional Halloween cake in Ireland is the barnbrack which is a fruit bread. … Great interest is taken in the outcome as there is a piece of rag, a coin and a ring in each cake. If you get the rag then your financial future is doubtful. If you get the coin then you can look forward to a prosperous year.

What is Celtic magic?

Description. Celtic magic. These words conjure up images of Druids and mystical oak groves, daring Irish warriors, fairies, elves, and ancient deities who took an active part in the lives of the people who worshipped them.

Is Halloween Scottish or Irish?

First attested in the 16th century, the name Halloween comes from a Scottish shortening of All-Hallows Eve and has its roots in the Gaelic festival of Samhain.

What do the Irish eat on Halloween?

With the food becoming anything vegetarian, Halloween was celebrated with the likes of potato dishes including champ, boxty, fadge – a type of apple cake – as well as fruit, nuts, barmbrack bread and a good colcannon dinner. Colcannon, simple and uniquely Irish, has become popular all around the world.

Why do the Irish eat barmbrack on Halloween?

Pagan belief dictated that it was on this day that the souls of the dead would return to their earthly homes and when spirits could leave the Otherworld and be seen by humans. This is the day we know as Halloween, a day when many Irish folk celebrate by eating traditional barmbrack bread.

Why are coconuts associated with Halloween?

So, in Portugal, where the tradition of carving faces into vegetables is believed to date back to the ancient Celtic cult of the severed head, a Jack O’Lanterns is called a “coco,” after the boogeyman.

Do Irish people eat colcannon?

Colcannon is a traditional Irish potato dish eaten on Halloween. It’s unique, yet simple recipe has become popular around the world. It usually includes chopped kale, cabbage, or green cabbage mixed with hot, floury, mashed potatoes.

What is Samhain dinner?

Samhain flavors include the vegetables of the season, such as kale, leeks, potatoes, squashes, parsnips, and our favorite pumpkin. Sweets include apples, cranberries, and pomegranate. Spices include sage, rosemary, garlic, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Meaty meals are hearty, slow cooked, or roasted.

Where did colcannon come from?

Colcannon/Place of origin
The word “colcannon” derives from the Gaelic term cal ceannann, which means “white-headed cabbage.” In Ireland, during the 17th and 18th centuries, potatoes, cabbage, and leeks were considered foods of the common man.