10 Posts to Hallowe’en: Post 8, Jack-o-Lantern

I am celebrating as much as I can for Hallowe’en – and that means here on the blog too! So I present to you, my lovelies, the 10 Posts to Hallowe’en !

Each post will highlight a particular part of the Hallowe’en season I enjoy immensely and wish to share with everyone.

Please feel free to participate by commenting below!

Part of the fun of Halloween when I was growing up was thinking up a great design, cutting it out and lighting up a jack-o-lantern. Our whole family got into the process – each of us kids would have a pumpkin, and we could design it to our hearts content and then my dad would cut an arm-hold out of the top so we could pull out the guts, the seeds and whatever else was in it, then our dad would take his sawzzle (spelling?) and cut out our designs – no matter how intricate and difficult a design we came up with. And then we would light them up, put them on the front porch and admire them in the cool night air.

It’s a wonderful tradition and while the times have changed my appreciation of the exercise has stayed.

Intricate, right? This one I carved myself!

Intricate, right? This one I carved myself!

And so, when the Boy and I moved in together and started to pick and choose which types of traditions we would be keeping from our different families, I obviously pushed for Jack-o-Lanterns. And though last year I was busy working too much and the Boy was busy with school to do much about it, this year – we made a point of getting a little pumpkin and carving it up.

This our pumpkin:

2.99 at Trader Joe's guys!

2.99 at Trader Joe’s guys!

Such an adorable orange squash.

We decided to forgo the usual intricate insane designs on my part and go with some classic grinning head instead.

We did what we always do – cut the top then spoon out the guts.


Yummy roasted pumpkin seeds in our future!

We drew out the face with a disconcerting grin.


Then cut them out.

The Boy took the knife away from me, which was probably a good idea since last time I was cutting squash I took off a piece of my index finger ...

The Boy took the knife away from me, which was probably a good idea since last time I was cutting squash I took off a piece of my index finger …

And finally, lit a candle in it.

Ghoulish? We think so ...

Ghoulish? We think so …

Then had some tea and cookies.

For a job well done!

For a job well done!

The tradition of lighting up hollowed out squash began, some experts think, with the tradition of lighting candles for the dead, and trying to scare away the bad dead things from your door. The way to do it is to make a ghoulie look0alike to confuse the baddies – and that is why menacing ugly faces are drawn on pumpkins to be lit up. Originally, on the Emerald Isle, they would hollow out turnips in the same manner as we do pumpkins, and light them up on their front steps to ward away the evil spirits that would otherwise attempt to haunt those inside.

Some people just think it’s a pretty way to light up a night for kiddies in costume who look for a jack-o-lantern to indicate which houses have the treats and which want to be left alone.

Either way, the lights that line the street every October for Halloween make me insanely happy and there is nothing more evocative of the charm and beauty of Halloween as the rows of natural lanterns that make the night bright with flickering light.

What are your pumpkin traditions?




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