London: This Halloween may mark the return of turnips as Brits are running out of pumpkins. Since wet weather has led to a shortage of the bulbous orange fruit, revellers are being urged to rediscover the original carved decoration – the humble turnip.
English Heritage has installed a number of ghoulishly carved turnips at Dover Castle as part of its week of half-term Halloween events taking place across the country. Long before the pumpkin became the Halloween decoration of choice, people across the British Isles carved scary faces into turnips and placed them near doorways to frighten away evil spirits.
Michael Carter, an English Heritage historian, said that from carved pumpkins to trick or treating, many of the traditions associated with Halloween today come from early European folklore, rather than simply being American inventions. He added “Hopefully people will remember the turnip and all our other rich traditions this Halloween.”
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