Carving a Jack-o’-lantern for ready for Halloween

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Pumpkin CarvingHalloween has never been as popular here as in America, but never the less, there are some traditions that are becoming increasingly popular, such as pumpkin carving. Halloween is fast approaching us and Jack-o’-lanterns are slowly making an appearance at front doors and in gardens all with various designs.

The idea of having Jack-o’-lanterns actually originated in Britain (although most of us probably think it originates from the US), but instead of pumpkins, turnips were used.

The tradition was carried over to America by immigrants who replaced the turnip with the pumpkin, due to availability and ease of carving.

Today it is pumpkins that are used over here. But, did you know, melons are a good substitute if pumpkins are all sold out from your local supermarket? Depending on the type of melon, some are hollow inside with ‘guts’ a bit like a pumpkin so would easily be able to hold a small candle inside.

Pumpkin carving has become a display of talent with some incredible carvings cropping up all over the internet.

Naturally these are just examples of some really artistic and imaginative specimens of pumpkin carvings, but what we are more likely to see on our neighbours doorstep are something along these lines:

Jack O Lantern Jack O Lantern

Pumpkin Carving Tips

• When possible choose a larger pumpkin with as smooth a surface as possible, this will make carving easier, and avoid distortion of your design.
• Choose your design first and either use a template which will help guide you during the carving process or if you’re into free styling draw it on first.
• When the lantern is not in use, put it in a plastic bag in the fridge as this will make it last longer.
• When carving the lid, be sure to do it at a 45o angle so that it will rest on the pumpkin and not fall into it.
• The lighter the skin, the easier it will be to carve.
(If you are planning on carving a pumpkin this year with your children, be sure to take some photos and sent them in to us!)

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