History of Jack-O-Lanterns

pumpkin-carvingThis post was originally written and published at The Creative Cubby.

Carving pumpkins is a big deal in my house.  Every year, I start looking for or designing the perfect carving template in July.  I invite friends over and feed them dinner for the occasion.  I have even started collecting real tools to build a Carving Tool Box in place of buying a carving set every year.  I take my pumpkin carving very seriously.

As I have gotten older, my pumpkin carving has veered away from the traditional jack-o-lantern.  I tend to carve pop culture or Halloween-themed pumpkins – ridiculously intricate designs that take me most of the night to complete.  (My friends are very patient angels.)

But I couldn’t help but start to wonder why.  Why do we take a simple gourd and feel the urge to carve up its surface?  Why do we stick our hands into its gooey center and pull out its guts?  Disregarding the obvious reason… {to roast the pumpkin seeds – yum!}  Why?  Where did this tradition come from?


Read More »