Fintown, Co. Donegal
In Ireland, at Halloween, we carved turnips to create scary-faced lanterns. The term, Jack o’ Lanterns, takes its name from the folktale about Jack, who was welcome neither in Heaven or Hell and was destined to wander the countryside forever, with just a lantern to light the way.
In 1943 the National Museum of Ireland received a turnip lantern from a schoolteacher, Rois Ní Braonáin who was teaching near Fintown, Co. Donegal. She stated that it was the type that was always made in that locality around 1900. This plaster-cast model was created and painted by the museum artist, Eileen Barnes.
Candles were placed inside the turnips and they were used to frighten people on the night of 31 October. The pumpkin that is prevalent today is an American development of this Irish tradition.