What vegetable was traditionally carved long before pumpkins?
Halloween is a celebration observed in several countries on 31 October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows' Day. Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, attending Halloween costume parties, carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns, lighting bonfires, apple bobbing, divination games, playing pranks, visiting haunted attractions, telling scary stories, as well as watching horror films.
Traditionally, pranksters used hollowed out turnips often carved with grotesque faces as lanterns. By those who made them, the lanterns were variously said to represent the spirits, or were used to ward off evil spirits. They were common in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands in the 19th century, as well as in Somerset. In the 20th century they spread to other parts of England and became generally known as jack-o'-lanterns.