As October creeps closer, you won’t be able to move for pumpkins in the fields, farm shops and soon to be gazing out at your from windowsills and doorsteps across the Island. But where did this tradition come from, and why has the humble pumpkin become a symbol for the scariest night of the year?
The first Jack O’Lanterns as they are otherwise known, were thought to originate pretty close to home in Ireland. An Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack who made a bargain with the devil that left him wandering the earth for all time with only a piece of burning coal which he put inside a carved turnip. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.
But perhaps their popularity also stems from the fact that pumpkins make for tasty easting. once carved, the flesh can be used in a pumpkin soup, grated into cake recipes to add some spice; or even use the hard shell of a carved pumpkin to cook your curry or stew in adding some warming, spicy flavour as you go – plus it looks amazing!