- Holidays and Celebrations
26 Amazing Halloween Carved Pumpkins Plus Pumpkin Facts and How The Name Jack o' Lantern Came About.
In the United States pumpkins are connected in some way to the fall holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. This big orange fruit that is picked in October and is very nutritious and a very resourceful plant with flowers, seeds and flesh that are edible and rich in vitamins. You can use pumpkins to make desserts, soups and breads which many people do for their Thanksgiving Day dinner. The tradition of carving a pumpkin into Jack o’ Lanterns is something that goes back more than a hundred years ago, but back then they used turnips or potatoes to carve into jack o’ lanterns. But when Irish immigrants came to America they found the great pumpkin has Charlie Brown’s friend Linus use to call it, and a new Halloween tradition was born, and instead of using turnips or potatoes to carve into Jack o’ Lanterns they now began to use pumpkins.
Pumpkins are associated with the gourd family which is hard skinned fruits such have cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini.
The largest pumpkin pie ever baked weighed 2,020 pounds.
Pumpkins have been grown in North America for thousands of years. They are native to the western hemisphere.
Pumpkins are low in calories, fat, and sodium and very high in fiber. They are good sources of Vitamin A, and B, and also a great source of potassium, protein, and iron.
The heaviest pumpkin ever recorded weighed 1,810 lb at the Stillwater Harvest Fest in Stillwater, Minnesota.
Pumpkin seeds should be planted around the last week of May and the middle of June. They take somewhere between 90 and 120 days to grow and are picked sometime in October when the pumpkins become a bright orange in color. Their seeds can be saved and used the following year to grow more pumpkins.
Early every October for Halloween you can see carved pumpkins peeking out from windows, porches and doorsteps in the U.S. and in many other countries has well. Many may be carved into a ghoulish face and could even have a lighted candle in it to illuminate the carving.
The pumpkin originated in Mexico about 9,000 years ago. It is one of America’s oldest known fruits. Pumpkins generally weigh from 15 to 30 pounds, although some can weigh as much as 200 pounds. The majority of pumpkins are orange, but they also can be white or yellow has well.
Native American used pumpkin within their diets many years before the pilgrims landed. When they did arrived, they discovered the pumpkins grown by the Indians and pumpkin soon became included in their diets to. They also brought seeds back to Europe, where they quickly became popular. Just like today, early settlers used pumpkins in a wide variety of recipes, from desserts to stews and soups. In addition to cooking with pumpkins, they also dried the shells out and cut them into strips to weave into mats.
How the name Jack o’ Lantern Started
The tale of “Stingy Jack”
People have been carving jack o’ lanterns for hundreds of years and it all began with this Irish tale of “Stingy Jack”. According to this tale Stingy Jack asks the Devil to have a drink with him and being very true to his name does not want to pay for the drinks. So he tricks the devil into turning himself into a coin so Stingy Jack could pay for the drink. But once the devil does this Jack does not pay for the drinks but puts the coin in his pocket near his silver cross, which is said to prevent him from changing back to his previous form. But he does free the devil under one condition that the devil does not bother him for a year and that he would not claim his soul when Jack dies. Another time Jack tricks the devil into getting him a piece of fruit up a tree, and when he climbs up the tree to get it for Jack, Jack than carves a cross in the bark of the tree so the devil cannot get down until he tell Jack he won’t bother him for ten years
Not long after that Jack dies and has this tale goes it is said the God would not allow such a unsavory man has Jack into heaven. And the devil being so upset that a mere man like Jack had tricked him, kept his word and did not claim his soul, and Jack was not allowed in hell either. It is said that Jack was sent out into the darkness of the night with just a burning coal to light his way. Jack got a carved out turnip and put the coal in it to light his way, and it is said he has roam the earth like that ever since. The Irish began to call the ghostly figure of Jack has “ Jack of the Lantern” But later simply called it “Jack o’ Lantern “ And that is how the term “Jack o’ Lantern” started and why people have carved ghoulish faces on them.