Punky night

miniature pumpkins
© F H Powell 2010

This old Somerset tradition is celebrated on the last Thursday of October. Jack o’ lanterns are carved out of many root vegetables including pumpkins. These have a candle placed inside them so the grotesque faces carved on the lanterns can be seen. This tradition can be traced back at least 250 years, but today only survives in two villages, those of Hinton St. George and Chiselborough. there is even a punky night song.

Other regions of the UK also had similar customs which will be shown in a later post.