Every Halloween pumpkins big and small go on sale at your local supermarket. They’re picked up to be used in what is a pretty commonplace practice during Halloween: Pumpkin carving.
The practice can be traced back to Ireland where during the 19th centuries, turnips would be hollowed out to make lanterns and carved with grotesque faces.
The lanterns were made during Halloween, which according to multiple cultures were sure is where the barrier separating the spiritual world and the material world was at it’s weakest.
The lanterns ( called Jack o lanterns after the will o’ wisps in English folklore) were crafted depending on the culture to either represent or repel spirits during this night.
Nowadays, lantern carving has evolved to almost an art form, including all sorts of stencils and designs, including cartoon characters, and tv stars.
It’s always good to remember where the tradition comes from. While you’re picking up your pumpkin and stencil, make sure to keep an eye out for wandering spirits, and have a happy Halloween.