A Turnip Parade

A few weeks ago we participated in our first ever turnip parade. Here in Switzerland (and much of Europe I believe) it is common to carve turnips as opposed to pumpkins.

A Turnip Parade

The girls were very excited, and as we left the house they insisted on leaving a lit lantern by our front door, so people would know we had gone to a lantern parade.

carved turnips

The whole thing was organised by the wonderful Montessori nursery that Emily attends, and it started with us all gathering outside around a giant carved pumpkin. The children made a circle and held their lanterns high, while the teachers talked about this important time of year as we transition from the warmer months to the colder ones. Then the children sang some seasonal songs, whilst swinging their turnip lanterns.

holding our turnip lanterns

We went on a walk carrying our lanterns, and stopped to sing at various points along the way. People came out of their homes to listen and clap for the children. It was just lovely.

Of course eventually the girls handed their turnip lanterns to me, and joined in with all the other over excited children running and singing at the tops of their voices, revelling in the excitement of being out after dark.

At the end of the walk we were invited to share in the harvest feast, which included pumpkin soup, sausages, bread, and mulled wine. Yum.

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About the Author

Fiona Moore

Fiona Moore

About Me & Mine

I am Fiona, wife to Nigel and mum to Sofie (9) and Emily (7). We live in Switzerland and fill our days with craft, playing and exploring. We like mess, noise and being outside.

Favourite place in the world:

The mountains. The whole family love hiking and skiing, so the mountains offer year round entertainment. Plus we live in Switzerland so we have plenty of choice when it comes to exploring mountains!

Favourite things to do outdoors:

Ski, sled, swim, get muddy, camp, build fires, make noise, run around, collect stuff, hike, ride bikes, explore and be together as a family. If its outside then we will probably like it.

Comments (2)

  • Helen and Ian

    Helen and Ian

    10 December 2011 at 17:44 | #

    Great pictures and great carvings too! When we were growing up we always used to use swedes (or turnips). I find it can be a bit difficult to get big ones now though! James (age 4) doesn't really seem to mind whether we use pumpkins or swedes as long as we carve big, sharp, scary teeth!


  • Fiona Moore

    Fiona Moore

    13 December 2011 at 18:14 | #

    I love that he just wants big scary teeth :-)
    I think the only reason we get big turnips is becasue it is a tradition here, and they are grown specially. They give them away in shops, and they are clearly marked as 'lantern turnips', not eating ones, which means they are also softer (and hence easier) to carve than a traditional swede.


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