What's Halloween without a traditional jack-o-lantern?
According to History.com , pumpkin carving is a popular part of modern America's Halloween celebration. We've been making jack-o-lanterns at Halloween for centuries.
The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed "Stingy Jack."
According to tradition, the Devil was upset by a trick Jack had played on him and would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern."
The University of Illinois has a few tips on how to pick the perfect pumpkin for your jack-o-lantern:
Whether you're just carving a pumpkin to sit by the front door at Halloween or holding a pumpkin carving party, the age old tradition is a main event for adults and children.
Pumpkin Carving 101 offers everything you need to know about creating your personal jack-o-lantern.
They suggest starting with the right tools, including knives, a poker tool, spoons to clean out the pumpkin, a grease pencil for drawing your design, or patterns created on your computer, downloaded from the Internet or purchasing them during the Halloween season in booklets.
Begin by cutting off the top of the pumpkin, making sure the hole is large enough to scoop out the guts and seeds inside with a large spoon.
Scrape the inside walls of the pumpkin clean with the spoon then draw or use a stencil to create your pumpkin's features.
Use a knife to carefully cut out the marked sections, carefully pushing out the pieces.
Make sure to scrape the bottom of the pumpkin flat so a candle placed inside will rest securely. They recommend using a votive candle for safety.
There are stencil patterns you can download on your computer to create a personalized pumpkin. You can make a political statement, or a more traditional one. Check out these websites for ideas:
Copyright 2010 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Top Lifestyle Headlines
NORAD’s child friendly ‘Santa Tracker’ program is raising some eyebrows with its inclusion of F-18 Fighter Jets that will be traveling with Santa in this year’s virtual program.
A Bel Air man is taking is Christmas lights display on the road.
Police in Anne Arundel County says they arrested three men late Wednesday night with nearly $2,000 worth of marijuana.
A Harwood man is charged with impersonating an officer after allegedly claiming to be an undercover detective.
A teen is in trouble with the law after he broke into an elementary school early Thursday morning and tried to steal candy and a laser pointer.