Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Carving Pumpkins

Some of the carved pumpkins (click to enlarge)

We enjoyed another beautiful Autumn day at my niece's home on Sunday carving pumpkins. About 25 friends and family gathered to eat, carve and watch the Raven's (sorry to say) lose big time!

Carving vegetables into scary faces then lighting them is an odd kind of custom that just must have interesting roots. This custom began with an old Irish legend. I researched it on Live Science and this is the explanation I got:

The Irish do not disappoint. Folks there have a legend of a drunken farmer, whose dealings with the devil led to him being turned back at both the gates of heaven and hell upon his death. Forced to wander the darkness of purgatory, Jack made an o'lantern from a turnip and lump of burning coal to guide his lost soul. Every Halloween, communities in Ireland would craft their own turnip lamps to scare him and other wayward spirits away.

The tradition became pumpkin-ified when Irish immigrants found the orange veggie sprouting in abundance in North America. Today, pumpkins mean big business at Halloween: U.S. farmers grow over a billion pounds a year, worth about $106 million.

I was recently sent this picture of some drunken pumpkins:

It's amazing how creative you can get with your pumpkin! I am interested to know if anyone has a pumpkin carving tradition. Do you have any cool pictures of your pumpkins??

Here are some pictures of our pumpkin carving party. Thanks Korin and Danny for a wonderful day!

About 15 pumpkins were carved in all!

2 comments:

NariceatL4 said...

Great post! I love it when my family gets together and has a pumpkin carving 'contest' (we judge the scariest, funniest, etc.)

Janis said...

Good pictures, I love the one that someone sent you. Oh what a beautiful Autumn we are having.

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