During earlier times, people used only a turnip as symbolic of Halloween. Due to the Irish potato famine (1845-1850), several thousands of men immigrated with their families to America. After they arrived, the Irish found that pumpkins were more readily available than turnips in the America, so they substituted turnips for pumpkin. Today, the carved pumpkin face is what is ubiquitously used during Halloween the world over.
Since then, pumpkin has been an indispensable part of Halloween celebrations. Most people buy the pumpkin from the marketplace while a few choose to grow their own.
Growing your own pumpkin is not as difficult as you think. All you have to do is bury the seed in the ground and water it occasionally. Pumpkins grow well in areas where they receive direct sunlight at lease for few hours every day.
Pumpkins require four to five months to reach maturity and as such you can plant them in May to obtain pumpkins in time for Halloween. Even if you harvest the pumpkins early, there should be no problems as the pumpkins can last for months, if stored on cool dry place.
Apart from carving your pumpkins for Halloween celebrations, you can use some of the seeds for cooking a tasty treat. You can carve a pumpkin to place on your doorstep for the Halloween night – but, if you want more fun and excitement, you can organize a pumpkin carving party with your family members and close friends.
You will have to decide what exactly you wish to carve with your Halloween pumpkin and assemble the appropriate tools to do the job. There are pumpkin-carving kits available in the market if you opt for some standard designs.
But if you want a unique and distinctly different design, then you will have to select some pumpkin stencils and free pumpkin carving templates. In fact, there are stencils for all types of pumpkin designs on the web. You can create some exotic stunning pumpkin carving to win all round admiration.
For those who may not be sufficiently experienced in pumpkin carving, it is worthwhile learning some tips how to carve a Halloween pumpkin:
• As a first step, you have to closely scrape the pumpkin. It should be reasonably moist but not overly wet once you complete the scraping.
• Make it a point not to wash the inside of the scraped pumpkin lest the entire carving operation will lose its effect.
• Equip yourself with some appropriate carving ubiquitously available in the market. You can opt for small knives that are safe and still perform well.
• Tape your pattern on top of the pumpkin. If the pumpkin is large, you can use a copier to contract it.
• Punch along the lines of your pattern using a poking tool. You can make the follow-the-dots trail in the pumpkin for easy carving.
• Once this is done, use the pattern as reference as you cut the pumpkin. You should do the cutting meticulously as if you cut at any wrong place, you will be wasting the pumpkin.
• If, despite exercising caution, you cut the pumpkin at a wrong place, then use a paper clip or a matchstick or toothpick to attach the wrongly split portions.
There are a plethora of patterns available and some of the prominent ones are Star Wars Pumpkins, Twilight Pumpkins and Cylon Pumpkins. If you want attractive templates and/or need guidance regarding making different Halloween pumpkin patterns, you can visit various online tutorial sites.