Pumpkin carving is one of the many staple traditions of Halloween, and is of course alot of fun.
As a special bonus for you today, you are going to receive a history lesson about why we carve pumpkins at Halloween (basically, I didn’t know at all but I Googled it and the story is quite interesting – I love a bit of legend :-))
“Halloween originated in Ireland several hundred years ago. The Celtic Irish celebrated October 31 for several reasons. October 31 signified the end of the summer and the start of the ‘new year.’ It was on this night and this night only that the boundaries between the living and the dead were broken. The spirits of the recently deceased could enter the bodies of the living as their one shot at the afterlife. Of course the living didn’t want to be possessed by these spirits so they would dress up is devilish costumes, extinguish all the lights in their houses, and create havoc on their town to scare the spirits away.
Years later the English adopted many of the Celt’s practices. October 31 was known as ‘All Hallows Eve,’ the night before ‘All Hallows Day’, a celebration in honor of the saints. As the idea of spirit possession became less prominent, the English would dress up as witches or ghosts in a more ceremonial manner.
In Ireland, one of the most popular traditions that went along with their ‘Halloween,’ was carrying the jack-o-lantern. In Scotland and England they would carry turnips. The jack-o-lantern was originally carried all night to replicate the faces of the ghoulish spirit possessed. No one is quite sure why the ‘jack-o-lantern’ is called ‘jack.’ However, according to an ancient Irish legend, the devil once wanted to steal the soul of a man named ‘Jack.’ Jack outwitted the devil on several occasions and kept his life. Eventually, Jack died and neither heaven nor hell would take him. Jack was condemned to an afterlife in limbo. He asked the devil for a piece of coal to provide light for his never ending life. Jack stuck the coal into a turnip and is said to still be walking around with his light until heaven or hell will open the gates for him.”
(Source = here)
And for some tips on carving pumpkins, have a look at these links: