Without a doubt the most recognizable symbol of Halloween is a pumpkin carved into a jack-o-lantern. To understand the origins of how pumpkin carving began and what it really means, we must first take a look at the holiday itself. How long has Halloween been around? Have there always been pumpkins carved? Here are some answers as well as 5 easy steps to carving your pumpkin!
For most of the general population it is known as Halloween and is a night for dressing up, telling ghost stories, having spooky parties, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving and of course eating candy! What most people don’t know is that Halloween is actually based on an ancient Celtic holiday known as Samhain (pronounced “sow wan”), which means “summer’s end”. It was the end of the Celtic year, starting at sundown on October 31st and going through to sundown November 1st. It was a night to honor loved ones that had passed on since the veil between their realm and ours is at its thinnest on that night.
Celebrated for centuries by the Celts of old, Witches and many other nature-based religions, it is the most magical night of the year. It is the Witches’ New Year, and the Last Harvest. Although the religious significance of it has passed for the general public, Halloween is a “magical” night for all!
Fun fact! Did you know that pumpkins are not a vegetable? – They are a fruit! Pumpkins, like gourds, and other varieties of squash are all members of the Cucurbitacae family, which also includes cucumbers, gherkins, and melons. Who knew?!
Here are those 5 Easy Steps to Carving your Pumpkin
1. Cut a hole in the top of the pumpkin around the stem
2. Scoop out the flesh, pulp and seeds
3. Transfer your design on the pumpkin. Use a stencil and a pointy tool to poke holes around the design
4. Remove the design template and carve along the pattern holes with a miniature saw or small knife
5. If desired, place candles, small flashlights or battery operated light source inside your pumpkin
*Tip* Prevent exposed areas of the pumpkins flesh from turning brown by applying a film of Vaseline.
Come visit us here at Vince’s Market on Halloween to check out our teams’ costumes. From all of us at Vince’s have a safe a happy Halloween!
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Until next time,