The Jack O' Lantern is the festival light for Halloween,
and represented the souls of the dead.
The lit pumpkins or turnips were placed outside homes to ward off evil
spirits during the Feast of the Dead.
Make your own toothy or toothless pumpkin face for Halloween and shoo
away the ghoulies and ghosties.
How to carve your Halloween Pumpkin
Important - make sure that children are closely supervised when
cutting the pumpkin or do the carving yourself.
After you've carved it, to help keep your pumpkin
looking fresh, wipe out the inside and then put a small amount
of petroleum jelly on all the exposed, cut edges. This prevents
the moisture from getting out and should stop your pumpkin from
starting to wrinkle. Using a plant mister can help keep your pumpkin
If you see any signs of shrivelling soak your pumpkin in a bowl
of cold water for about half an hour. Adding a tiny amount of
household bleach to the water will help kill off any bacteria
and slow down any mould growth to help keep your pumpkin fresh.
Also placing it in a plastic bag in the fridge can help preserve
a pumpkin for much longer.
You'll need a pumpkin, a spoon, a pen,
a sharp knife, a tea candle, newspaper
Lay down plenty of newspaper or work on a
wipeable surface as it can get quite messy.
1. Draw a line around the pumpkin about two inches from the top.Cut
round to make a lid. Keep the knife angled in towards the centre
of the pumpkin to ensure your lid does not fall through.
2. Carefully scoop the flesh out with a spoon, until hollowed
out and empty. The more you get out the easier it will be to carve.
Don't be squeamish - get stuck in!
The wall for the front of the pumpkin should be no more than one
inch thick to make carving easier. Don't make it too thin, or
the thin areas will dry out and go wrinkly.
3. Draw your design on the outside, with a pen you can wipe off
later (not indelible). Choose a bold design for the mouth especially,
to make it more scary.
4. Cut into your design, carefully pulling the cut
5. Place a lit tea-light in the pumpkin and replace the lid.
You may need two or three lights for larger pumpkins.