Make this the year you carve your own Halloween pumpkin into a creepy jack-o’-lantern to light the way for all eager trick-or-treaters. It’s easier than you think!
The Halloween pumpkin, also widely known as a jack-o’-lantern, is one of the most enduring symbols of Halloween. Its origins can be traced back to the Irish festival of Samhain, an event to mark the transition from harvest season to winter. The Irish used to carve faces on large turnips then light a candle inside as a way to ward off spirits.
This tradition was adopted in North America in the 1800s by immigrants in observance of All Hallows’ Eve, a time of remembering those who have passed away. Pumpkins were used as this was native to the continent.
Over the decades, Halloween became a mainstream holiday celebrated as a night of merrymaking, where people dress up in costumes and go around the neighbourhood to ask for treats.
The Halloween pumpkin has become of this occasion’s most recognisable icon. Make a group of Halloween pumpkins in various sizes to display on your window or front porch for maximum spookiness!
Read our easy instructions below or watch our step-by-step video on how to carve your very own Halloween pumpkin.
- Choose a well-proportioned pumpkin of any size.
- Use a pen to draw a circle around the pumpkin about 4cm from the stem. Cut out a hole using a sharp serrated knife. Set the sliced top aside.
- Use a large serving spoon to scoop out the seeds, fibres, and flesh until the inner wall is about 3.5cm thick. Thinning out the pumpkin makes carving easier.
- With your pen, draw the outline of the pumpkin face. You may also print out a template and trace an outline from that.
- Use a sharp vegetable knife to cut out the shapes.
- Place a tealight or an LED light inside the Halloween pumpkin then cover with the sliced top.
- Resist the urge to carve your Halloween pumpkin too early. To have a fresh looking Halloween pumpkin, carve it as close to the date as possible.
- Choose a firm pumpkin with a flat bottom. Store the pumpkin in a cool dry place before you use it to keep it fresh.
- Some suggest cutting a hole at the bottom of the pumpkin instead of the top. By doing this, you can simply set the pumpkin over your light.
- Experiment with different or funny spooky faces on your pumpkin to maximise the effect, especially when you are displaying a number of them.
Find more Halloween inspiration below