It’s October, the season of all things pumpkin; pumpkin spice, pumpkin décor, and pumpkin pie. Let’s take a look at three ways you may want to consider amplifying the joy of pumpkins this season.
Pumpkin carving was introduced in America by Irish Immigrants. According to Irish folklore, the Irish began carving demonic faces in turnips to scare away a soul named Jack. It was believed that Jack was caught between heaven and earth when he died because he had played a number of tricks on the devil during his lifetime. When the Irish arrived in America, they carved pumpkins instead as they were more readily available. Hence came the name Jack-o’-lantern.
Pumpkin carving is a tradition many of us have been enjoying since we were kids. Cutting out a top to open the big orange gourd, sticking your hand into it and letting your fingers intertwine with the gooey fiber inside dotted with seeds then putting them on a wax paper-lined cookie sheet, seasoning the seeds to make pumpkin seed snacks has long been a tradition enjoyed and passed on.
This wholesome tradition is a simple, basic way to celebrate Halloween. Just add a candle on Halloween night to allow it to face and you’re done. Today there are tools to make more ornate creations, but nothing is more heartwarming to see than a pumpkin carved from a child’s imagination.
Gathering together and carving pumpkins can be fun too. The Town of Cary in North Carolina encourages kids to bring their pumpkins to participate in the annual Pumpkin Flotilla. Each pumpkin is placed on a wooden board, tied to a string of other boards. A kayaker then paddles the line of floating pumpkins, all lit up, along the shore of the local lake lined with hundreds of onlookers.
Creating an event where pumpkins can be exhibited can be a great event to get people outdoors to enjoy the cold, crisp air. Enhance it by serving hot chocolate or spiced apple cinnamon tea. It can also be a way to establish a fundraiser for schools, parks, nature conservancies, and other programs in need. The Great Jack O’Lantern Blaze in New York is a big hit every year and helps support the programs offered by The Historic Hudson Valley.
Regardless of how you decide to celebrate pumpkins this year, please consider composting your pumpkin after Halloween. Better yet, donate it to a local farm, zoo, or animal rescue facility. Animals love pumpkins!
If you carve a pumpkin or host a pumpkin event, be sure to tag us on social media @TheNatureNurse so we can share. Happy Halloween!
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