Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Carving pumpkins!

I love this time of year.. I decided this year... I am going to make my own, from scratch (not can) pumpkin pies and cookies and more!! I can't wait!! (I did get extra pumpkins)

We carved pumkpins.. Gotta love how serious they get when doing this..
I don't have the finished products, we need to get candles and I will post them later..

But for now.. here is some history of the "Carving of Pumpkins"
Take it with a grain of salt..
I found many different stories, but most lead to this basic info from:

People have been making jack o'lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack." According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.

Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."

In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack's lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack o'lantern tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack o'lanterns.


Development of artifacts and symbols associated with Halloween formed over time encompassing customs of medieval holy days as well as contemporary cultures. The souling practice of commemorating the souls in purgatory with candle lanterns carved from turnips, became adapted into the making of jack-o'-lanterns. In traditional Celtic Halloween festivals, large turnips were hollowed out, carved with faces, and placed in windows to ward off evil spirits.
The carving of pumpkins is associated with Halloween in North America where pumpkins are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips. Many families that celebrate Halloween carve a pumpkin into a frightening or comical face and place it on their doorstep after dark.
The American tradition of carving pumpkins preceded the Great Famine period of Irish immigration and was originally associated with harvest time in general, not becoming specifically associated with Halloween until the mid-to-late 19th century.

I am learning lots about I will have more on this later, I just wanted to share the basics on Carving pumpkins. :)


J.L. Stratton said...

Wow, another great post. I've learned so much about the Jack-o-lantern. Of course, I would expect nothing less of you. I actually feel smarter now.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I like the Irish myth!

DK Spins said...

Y;all do look so serious Looking forward to seeing the pumpkins all lit up. Thank you for sharing the info on the Jack-o-Lanterns.

*The_Fisher_Family* said...

What were the girls this year for Halloween? It was so nice seeing you girls I really miss it there! :) Did you get candles for the pumpkins?