October 31 2012 by Claudia Kunkel
Did you know that Halloween is one of the world's oldest celebrated holidays? Did you also know that the tradition of carving pumpkins started in Ireland and not with pumpkins, but with turnips and potatoes? Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America where the turnips and potatoes were set aside for the pumpkin. There is also a very old Irish tale concerning a man called "Stingy Jack" from which the name "jack-o-lantern" was derived. If you have a few minutes, it's a very entertaining story and worth your time reading. Now, here are a few spooktacular jack-o-lanterns to inspire you as you set out to carve your own this Halloween along with a few great carving tips.
To get you started on your way to carving the greatest jack-o-lantern of all time, follow these easy carving tips:
- Use a marker to draw your design on the pumpkin before carving. This way, if you don't like what you see, it's easy to erase and start again.
- Pick up a carving kit with a serrated saw. This type of "knife" is much easier and safer for the kids to use.
- Be sure to cut the lid at an angle making the outside larger than the inside. This is to ensure that your lid doesn't fall into your carved out pumpkin.
- Scoop out the seeds using an ice cream scoop or very sturdy large spoon. Be sure to save the seeds to roast!
- Carve out your designs making large enough holes that your candle will burn properly.
- Light up your jack-o-lantern and have a safe, Happy Halloween!