Carving a Place in Halloween History

PimlicoDan
Published on October 26th 2018
5
Carved orange faces are appearing across the land. Here are a few facts about the pumpkin and its jack o’ lantern alter-ego.
1 . Although now generally seen as comical, the intention of carving a ghoulish face into a pumpkin is to ward off evil spirits.
2 . It was the Irish who began the ritual of carving faces in large turnips and potatoes to keep Stingy Jack away from their homes.
3 . When Irish immigrants moved over to America they began to use pumpkins for their jack-o-lanterns as they were larger and easier to hollow-out.
4 . The pumpkin is not a vegetable, but a fruit, and is a member of the gourd family, or cucurbits (Cucurbitaceae).
5 . Butternut squash, cucumbers, marrows, courgettes, cantaloupes and watermelons are all related to pumpkins.
6 . The loofah, of luffah, which is used as a natural scrubbing sponge, is the fibrous interior of a fruit related to the pumpkin.
7 . Aside from Halloween, pumpkins are also famous for their size, some almost reaching the scale of a Smart car. The Guinness World Records cites a German-grown 1,190kg fruit as the current title-holder.
8 . The popularity of pumpkin pie is growing in the UK, but in the USA it’s a national phenomenon, with the largest ever baked sitting at 20 feet in diameter and weighing almost 1,700kg. That’s a lot of pie.
9 . Starbucks have sold over 200 million pumpkin spice lattes since launching them a decade ago.
10 . You can grow your own pumpkins by planting seeds from April under cover. They are space-needy and food-greedy, but perhaps you’ll have a record-breaker on your hands!

Don't forget to enter the pumpkin decorating contest by posting a picture of your decorated pumpkin and tagging #Hallowinner

Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Lots to see

Follow and read AlanGardenMaster’s articles as he develops his new one-acre plot. PimlicoDan shows city gardening in a whole new light, or follow DaisyDays on her adventures in the allotment and as a professional gardener. Just a few of the many personalities you’ll meet in our app. Free download for your phone or tablet.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play