Carving the big orange pumpkins that we do nowadays is a relatively new thing, and is considered a very American thing as well. Though gourd carving has been practiced all over the world, back in the day, at least as far back as the 1800s (and doubtlessly even farther back), people in Europe, especially England and Ireland, would carve lanterns out of turnips and beets. I decided to give beet carving a whirl this Halloween and was very pleased with the results.
I love very primitive, simple figures and these beet carvings certainly fit the bill.
A small tea light will just barely fit into these---also, I threaded some wire-covered ribbon through the sides of the beets to make handles.
There are all sorts of possibilities---carved zucchinis, apples, acorn squash, etc etc. I used an apple corer to hollow out the beets and then just a small knife to carve the simple faces. I love how it is an older tradition, but makes my Halloween display look different, edgier somehow.
Happy All Hallow's Eve!