Tis that season when the ghouls and creatures of the night decorate the outside of houses, inside of school rooms , gyms , neighborhood parks , stores and just about anything that people could put a decoration on. The most popular is the ever so carvable pumpkins or jack-o-lanterns. So it is a no brainer that there is a shmorgasborg of pumpkin carvings on the web and oh my there are a huge amount of phenomenal ones. I started this by thinking I would post the top 10. I found out even though I had a couple of favorites there is really no way of putting a number of who’s the best and who’s not. Especially the really well done ones. So instead I am going to just put them in any order as a gallery slide show and add some. We’ll humorous ones in the mix that would not necessarily be considered a great carved pumpkin. Just imaginative. Enjoy.
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These are just a handful of great carvings I found. When researching this and looking for photos of great carvings I stumbled upon a site that has a host of fantastically carved pumpkins called Pumpkingutter.com. I posted some the work I found over there here as you probably can tell by the water marks on the photo’s. Something I try not to do to out of respect to the artist if I see watermarks. But the site in itself is so cool I had to grab some samples to show. It was hard to choose from which one of those pumpkin carvings to choose from because one after another you have a wow moment or I wish I could do that. I however settled on a handful and gathered the rest from various images that you can find from just googling pumpkin images.
Here is some trivia about the term Jack O Latern that I found via wiki and other sites
Trivia 1 : Jack o Lanterns was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o’-lantern.
Trivia 2 : Most people associate a pumpkin with the Jack O Lantern or for that fact the Halloween lantern. Not so. Throughout Ireland and Britain, there is a long tradition of carving lanterns from vegetables, particularly the turnip, mangelwurzel, or swede. The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween, but immigrants to North America used the larger native pumpkin.
Trivia 3: It was not until 1837 that jack-o’-lantern appeared as a term for a carved vegetable lantern
Trivia 4: In the United States, the carved pumpkin was first associated with the harvest season in general, long before it became an emblem of Halloween
Trivia 5: In 1900, an article on Thanksgiving entertaining recommended a lit jack-o’-lantern as part of the festivity
Trivia 6: Poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who was born in 1807, wrote “The Pumpkin” (1850):
“Oh!—fruit loved of boyhood!—the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
The legend of the carved swede as a lantern comes in many variants and is similar to the story of Will-o’-the-wisp retold in different forms across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. An old Irish folk tale tells of Stingy Jack, a lazy yet shrewd farmer who uses a cross to trap the Devil. One story says that Jack tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree, and once he was up there Jack quickly placed crosses around the trunk or carved a cross into the bark, so that the Devil couldn’t get down. Another myth says that Jack put a key in the Devil’s pocket while he was suspended upside-down.
Another version of the myth says that Jack was getting chased by some villagers from whom he had stolen, when he met the Devil, who claimed it was time for him to die. However, the thief stalled his death by tempting the Devil with a chance to bedevil the church-going villagers chasing him. Jack told the Devil to turn into a coin with which he would pay for the stolen goods (the Devil could take on any shape he wanted); later, when the coin/Devil disappeared, the Christian villagers would fight over who had stolen it. The Devil agreed to this plan. He turned himself into a silver coin and jumped into Jack’s wallet, only to find himself next to a cross Jack had also picked up in the village. Jack had closed the wallet tight, and the cross stripped the Devil of his powers; and so he was trapped.
In both myths, Jack only lets the Devil go when he agrees never to take his soul. After a while the thief died, as all living things do. Of course, his life had been too sinful for Jack to go to heaven; however, the Devil had promised not to take his soul, and so he was barred from hell as well. Jack now had nowhere to go. He asked how he would see where to go, as he had no light, and the Devil mockingly tossed him an ember that would never burn out from the flames of hell. Jack carved out one of his turnips (which was his favourite food), put the ember inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place. He became known as “Jack of the Lantern”, or Jack-o’-Lantern.
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