Pumpkin Carving

Antonio Garcia

Pumpkin carving is a popular Halloween tradition. It’s all about taking a normal pumpkin and creating something new, often a Jack-O-Lantern. Before pumpkins, it was Turnips that were carved and created into Jack-O-Lanterns. Turnips were used by the original Jack-O-Lantern creators, the Irish.


Nowadays we carve pumpkins on Halloween for decoration and a fun activity, but that wasn’t always the reason. The Irish originally carved Jack-O-Lanterns to ward off ghosts thought to come on Great Hallows Eve. In Ireland there were no pumpkins, which is why they used turnips. But when people from Ireland started immigrating to America they discovered how much easier it was to use pumpkins.


When people discovered Jack-O-lanterns carved from pumpkins for Great Hallows Eve, it spread quickly and now is popular among everybody in America.  For many children, pumpkin carving is something to look forward to, another reason to count down to Halloween.


Hayley Winkler, a sophomore at Oakdale, explains how her friends and family carve pumpkins, ¨My friends and I did characters this year. We each did one from our favorite show or movie. It’s a lot of fun. We also tried to get different types of pumpkins. We wanted to try something new.¨.

Winkler, feels this exact way, ¨When I think of Halloween it’s one of the first things that comes to mind. My friends and I always carve the pumpkins, so I really love that activity. I love Halloween, so I always look forward to pumpkin carving.”.


Sophomore Shannon Roth, an experienced pumpkin carver, states, “My favorite part is drawing the face before carving because I get to decide what expression or face I want to have on my Jack-O-Lantern.”


Carving has been a long family tradition in the Roth family. She also further expresses that she has a certain type of pumpkin in which she favors, “round.”


Although round pumpkins may be the first thing people think of when they think of a Jack-O-Lantern, using different white, tall, short, fat, skinny, or deformed pumpkins adds variety and emotion. When carving Jack-O-Lanterns, many people create scary or happy faces on them, although, you can create more than just a few emotions. Many people create animals, shapes, symbols, words, names or characters. The possibilities in pumpkin carving are endless.

No matter what you may do for Halloween, it is an inescapable fact, pumpkin carving is here to stay. The beloved classic activity will surely be practiced for many years to come.


Happy Halloween!