Why Do We Carve Jack-O-Lanterns on Halloween?
October is here. Chances are you will be heading to a local pumpkin patch very soon to choose the perfect pumpkin for your porch or walkway. You’ve probably been doing this for many years. But did it ever occur to you exactly WHY you do it? Here’s a little history about why we carve jack-o-lanterns.
The actual carving of a gourd began over 700 years ago when the Maori used them for lanterns. The jack-o-lantern custom is believed to have begun in Ireland in the 19th century. These lighted gourds were carved with horrific faces and used to scare the spirits away from people’s homes. Sometimes they were used to frighten people as well. The festival of Samhain, as Halloween was known, was a very scary time for some and they did what they could to feel safe. The souls of the dead were said to roam the earth at this time, and the lighted gourds were supposed to keep them at bay.
Today, most people head to a Sherman Oaks Halloween store to pick up all their Halloween decorations and costumes, and to search for pumpkins as well. There are plenty of local farmers markets and stores where you can choose the perfect pumpkin for your special jack-o-lantern. Some people prefer tall skinny ones to make a stretched face. Others would rather have a short, fat pumpkin to make a rounded character. There are those expert pumpkin carvers who make extremely intricate carvings, or who do “scrapings” instead, where they scrape the outside skin from the pumpkin and have the light glow through the pumpkin itself.
No matter what your preference in this holiday tradition, you can find the perfect pumpkin to meet your needs. Add some gourds to your setting as well and make it extra spooky. And be sure to stop at the Glendale Halloween Store to find all your Halloween costumes and decorations. They have everything you need to get your house and yard in the Halloween spirit.
And you just might want to carve a few extra pumpkins to set around your house. Just in case.