Fall is here! You know what that means? It's time to find the Great Pumpkin and start carving!Ok, maybe not Charlie Brown's Great Pumpkin, but your great perfect pumpkin!

Halloween is just around the corner. Ever wonder how the tradition of carving pumpkins started? Halloween is actually based on the ancient Celtic holiday Samhain which means "summer's end".

On this night, glowing jack-o-lanterns, carved from turnips or gourds, were set on porches and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones, but also to act as protection against malevolent spirits. Burning lumps of coal were used inside as a source of light, later to be replaced by candles.

When European settlers, particularly the Irish, arrived in American they found the native pumpkin to be larger and easier to carve, it seemed the perfect choice for the jack-o-lanterns. Halloween didn't really catch on big in this country until the late 1800's.

 

Carving pumpkins is a fun family tradition. Here is a great site that gives you tips on finding the perfect pumpkin, basic carving instructions to more elaborate carving, what tools you'll need and more!

Here is a great video too!

via Halloween Pumpkin Carving - History of Jack O' Lanterns.