PUNKIE NIGHT

The fourth Thursday in October is Punkie Night in the village of Hinton St. George, in Great Britain. It’s a bit like Haloween, but with it’s own local twist. I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

On Punkie Night, local children join a procession through the village streets, swinging their homemade lanterns, known as punkies, and going house to house, singing and sometimes getting a few pennies at the front door.

ambience Punkie Night song

Brian Cornelius is one of the organizers of the Punkie Night festivities.

“Well, Punkie Night is an old village tradition of Hinton St. George. It goes back over 100 years, and it was said that the men from the village went to a nearby village of Chiselborough to the fair, and they didn’t return as promised, so the women went looking for them with mangold lanterns.”

“A mangold is a crop grown by farmers for cattle feed. The women of the village pulled these up in the fields, carved them out, put their candles in them to give light, and then proceeded to Chiselborough, which is about 4 miles from here, looking for their husbands at the fair.”

So nowadays, to commemorate the event, local children hollow out their mangolds – which look like a cross between a turnip and a pumpkin. And they carve designs or faces on the outside, and put candles within. Sound familiar? There’s a evening procession of punkies, and a contest for the most original design.

ambience Punkie Night song

So, from Hinton St. George in Great Britain, here’s wishing you a happy Punkie Night. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. I’m Jim Metzner.

PUNKIE NIGHT

On Punkie Night, the children of Hinton St. George, Great Britain, join a procession through the village streets, swinging their homemade lanterns, or punkies.
Air Date:10/23/1997
Scientist:
Transcript:

The fourth Thursday in October is Punkie Night in the village of Hinton St. George, in Great Britain. It's a bit like Haloween, but with it's own local twist. I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

On Punkie Night, local children join a procession through the village streets, swinging their homemade lanterns, known as punkies, and going house to house, singing and sometimes getting a few pennies at the front door.

ambience Punkie Night song

Brian Cornelius is one of the organizers of the Punkie Night festivities.

"Well, Punkie Night is an old village tradition of Hinton St. George. It goes back over 100 years, and it was said that the men from the village went to a nearby village of Chiselborough to the fair, and they didn't return as promised, so the women went looking for them with mangold lanterns."

"A mangold is a crop grown by farmers for cattle feed. The women of the village pulled these up in the fields, carved them out, put their candles in them to give light, and then proceeded to Chiselborough, which is about 4 miles from here, looking for their husbands at the fair."

So nowadays, to commemorate the event, local children hollow out their mangolds - which look like a cross between a turnip and a pumpkin. And they carve designs or faces on the outside, and put candles within. Sound familiar? There's a evening procession of punkies, and a contest for the most original design.

ambience Punkie Night song

So, from Hinton St. George in Great Britain, here's wishing you a happy Punkie Night. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. I'm Jim Metzner.