How to carve a Jack-O-Lantern
How to Carve a Halloween Pumpkin
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Halloween home
Without a doubt the most recognizable symbol of Halloween is a pumpkin carved into
a jack-o-lantern. To understand the origins of how pumpkin carving began and what it
really means we must first take a look at the holiday itself. How long has Halloween
been around? Have there always been pumpkins carved? Here are some answers!

For most of the general population it is known as Halloween and is a night for
dressing up, telling ghost stories, having spooky parties, trick-or-treating and pumpkin
carving. What most people don't know is that Halloween is actually based on an
ancient Celtic holiday known as Samhain (pronounced "sow wan"), which means
"summer's end".

It was the end of the Celtic year, starting at sundown on October 31st and going
through to sundown November 1st. It was a night to honor loved ones that had
passed on since the veil between their realm and ours is at it's thinnest on that night.

Celebrated for centuries by the Celts of old, Witches and many other nature based
religions, it is the most magical night of the year. It is the Witches' New Year, and the
Last Harvest. Although the religious significance of it has passed for the general
public, Halloween is a "magical" night for all!

On this magical night, glowing jack-o-lanterns, carved from turnips or gourds, were
set on porches and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones, but also to act as
protection against malevolent spirits. Burning lumps of coal were used inside as a
source of light, later to be replaced by candles.

When European settlers, particularly the Irish, arrived in American they found the
native pumpkin to be larger, easier to carve and seemed the perfect choice for
jack-o-lanterns. Halloween didn't really catch on big in this country until the late 1800's
and has been celebrated in so many ways ever since!

Pumpkins are indigenous to the western hemisphere and were completely unknown
in Europe before the time of Columbus. In 1584, the French explorer Jacques Cartier
reported from the St. Lawrence region that he had found "gros melons", which was
translated into English as "ponpions," or pumpkins.  In fact, pumpkins have been
grown in America for over 5,000 years. Native Americans called pumpkins

Did you know that pumpkins are not a vegetable - they are a fruit! Pumpkins, like
gourds, and other varieties of squash are all members of the Cucurbitacae family ,
which also includes cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.
246 pages absolutely jam-packed
with Family Fun Activities &
Teaching Resources. This book
includes lesson plans, crafts,
recipes, Jokes & Riddles,
Crosswords, Wordsearches,
Vocabulary 7 counting  exercises,
Handwriting & memory, numbers,
phonics, colouring, Halloween
Safety, Superstitions, History, Sight
word cards, fingerplays,
scrapbooking pages, tags, bags and
labels, incitations and more.
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154 pgs of Lesson Plans,
Activities and thematic
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730 crafts, activities and
recipes for the whole
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