Pumpkin Carving 101
You've come to the right place for Halloween Pumpkin Carving!
Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin Carving Patterns

pumpkin carving designs CHOOSING YOUR PUMPKINS
How to select the right pumpkins for your Halloween festivities

pumpkin carving designs PUMPKIN CARVING TOOLS
Pumpkin carving tools to carve your Jack O' Lanterns

pumpkin carving designs TRADITIONAL CARVING
See how we carve our pumpkins the old fashioned way

pumpkin carving designs CARVING WITH STENCILS
How we carve pumpkin masterpieces using stencils

pumpkin carving designs LIGHTING YOUR PUMPKINS
Various methods to light your Jack O' Lanterns on Halloween

pumpkin carving designs LIFE-SPAN OF A PUMPKIN
How to extend the life-span of your Halloween Jack O' Lanterns

pumpkin carving designs PHOTOGRAPHING
How to photograph your carved pumpkins for Halloween posterity

pumpkin carving designs PUMPKIN BURIAL TRADITION
Lay your post Halloween pumpkins to rest with love and dignity

pumpkin carving designs YOUR OWN PUMPKIN PATCH
Grow your own pumpkins for Halloween

pumpkin carving designs HALLOWEEN LINKS
Be sure to visit these great Halloween websites!

pumpkin carving designs PUMPKIN CARVING HOME

 

 

 


THE HISTORY OF PUMPKIN CARVING


Jack 'O LanternsWithout 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!

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 and pumpkin carving. 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 it's thinnest on that night.

StonehengeCelebrated 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!

DeathOn this magical night, glowing jack-o-lanterns, carved from turnips or gourds, were set on porches and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones, but also to act as protection against malevolent spirits. Burning lumps of coal were used inside as a source of light, later to be replaced by candles.

When European settlers, particularly the Irish, arrived in American they found the native pumpkin to be larger, easier to carve and seemed the perfect choice for jack-o-lanterns. Halloween didn't really catch on big in this country until the late 1800's and has been celebrated in so many ways ever since!

Pumpkins are indigenous to the western hemisphere and were completely unknown in Europe before the time of Columbus. In 1584, the French explorer Jacques Cartier reported from the St. Lawrence region that he had found "gros melons", which was translated into English as "ponpions," or pumpkins.  In fact, pumpkins have been grown in America for over 5,000 years. Native Americans called pumpkins "isquotersquash."

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.


 


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