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Carve a Pumpkin Day

Pumpkins are a cultivar of the squash plant and are native to North America. The name is derived from the Greek word pepon, which means "large melon." Pumpkins have long been associated with the harvest season, and with both Halloween and Thanksgiving. In fact, Carve a Pumpkin Day is celebrated today, on the same date as Halloween. On this day—and during the lead-up to it—people pick or buy pumpkins—most often the Connecticut field pumpkin—and carve them into jack-o'-lanterns.

Vegetables such as turnips have long been carved in Ireland and Britain, and the practice of carving pumpkins into jack-o'-lanterns stemmed from the story of Stingy Jack. Knives, spoons, or specialized tools are used to carve. Parts of the pumpkin are cut out to make holes, often in the shape of a face, depicted as scary, cheerful, or comical. Artistic designs may be carved too, including those of a topical nature. The innards of the pumpkin are removed through a hole at the top, and an illuminated candle or another light source is typically placed inside, with the top then being put back into place.

How to Observe Carve a Pumpkin Day

Carve a pumpkin! You may first need to pick or buy a pumpkin and decide what design you will carve into it. After you are finished carving, illuminate your pumpkin with a candle. If you saved the pumpkin seeds, bake them and have yourself a snack.

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