Sunday, 28 October 2012

Our pumpkins! And why we do them in the first place.

After careful consideration the children decided to go with the traditional Jack-o-lantern. These are their efforts, the rain adds to the atmosphere!
The spooky one
The vampire one
The happy one (Reuben's)
And of course at this time of year they always ask me why we carve the pumpkins in the first place.
It is not certain how the custom of making jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween came about. However, it is thought to come from the British Isles, where turnips, mangelwurzel or beets were used. Turnip lanterns, sometimes with faces carved into them, were made on the Gaelic festival of Samhain (31 October–1 November) in the 19th century in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. Samhain was a time when fairies and spirits were said to be active. The purpose of these lanterns may have been threefold. They may have been used to light one's way while outside on Samhain night; to represent the spirits and otherworldly beings; and/or to protect oneself and one's home from them, they were sometimes set on windowsills to keep them out of one's home. However, others suggest that they originated with All Saints' Day (1 November)/All Souls' Day (2 November) and that they represented Christian souls in purgatory. (thank you Wikipedia, more info here)

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