How well do you know your neighbors? Need an excuse to hang out with them? Invite everyone around you to a pumpkin carving night! You can swap ideas, chat while you cut – oh, and laugh together when they don’t turn out like the wicked Pinterest inspo you checked out beforehand.
If you’re feeling particularly ambitious, turn it into a pumpkin carving competition and vote for who carved the best face!
The history of the Jack O’Lantern dates back to ancient Celtic folklore. There are several variations of the tale, but in all of them the same basic story rings the same – a trickster townsman named Jack convinces the devil to either change into a small object or climb up a tree, and then either places the small object in his pocket (next to a cross) or places a cross at the base of the tree. In both scenarios, this traps the devil.
Jack makes a deal with the devil – if Jack frees the devil, the devil must leave him completely alone. Later, when Jack dies, God would not let him into heaven and instead sends him down to hell. But when Jack arrives, the devil keeps his promise and turns him away as well. He sentenced Jack to an eternity of roaming the darkness, with only an ember from the flames of hell to light his way. Jack carved out a turnip, placed the ember inside, and now spends the rest of eternity roaming the darkness with his makeshift lantern.
Townsfolk told the legend of “Jack of the Lantern” which, with Irish influence, was eventually shortened to Jack O’Lantern. People would carve their own lanterns out of turnips, beets, and potatoes to ward off evil spirits until the tradition came to America, where pumpkins became the primary fruit/vegetable of choice.
There are so many ways to get into the Halloween spirit here in town – carving pumpkins can be a great way to prepare for the holiday. Put on a Halloween movie in the background, or turn on some festive tunes (Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack, anyone?) and have fun while making that quintessential Halloween front porch decoration.