Halloween is fast approaching! The time of year when it is said evil spirits are allowed to roam all over the earth and cause mischief and upset to decent honest folk. The etymology of halloween is all hallow’s eve, being the day before the Christian festival of All Saints’ Day (1st November) and All Souls’ Day (2nd November). But even before Christian influence this time of year, after the harvest is over and when winter begins to draw in, was often seen as a liminal period, where the boundaries between this world and the next were weakened and the souls of the dead could return to visit the living. In the Christian tradition, the spirits visiting on Halloween were the spirits of lost loved ones on their way through purgatory. The origin of trick-or-treating was in the poor going door to door and collecting “soul cakes” from families in return for praying for their dead relatives to speed their journey through purgatory.
Halloween today has evolved to be something other than its origins, with less of an emphasis on praying for and remembering the dead, and more of an emphasis on fun and fright and of course, tricks and treats! So why not bring out that halloween staple, the jack o’ lantern, to give pause to any trick or treaters looking to come to your door? Originally carved in this country from turnips to ward off evil spirits, these symbols of halloween (now more often carved from the American pumpkin) are still today a common sight in the windows of people’s homes and in front gardens and its distinctive orange colour gives halloween its current livery.
Whether you want to create a friendly welcome, a spooky scare or a goofy character follow these simple steps to create a jack o’ lantern of your very own:
Step 1. Find a pumpkin. (Or turnip!) This step is easy, you can find one in any supermarket around Halloween, alternatively you could opt to get one from a farmer’s market.
Step 2. Start by cutting a hole in the top of your pumpkin, around the stalk. You’ll want it to be large enough to be able to reach in and hollow out the pumpkin.
Step 3. Hollow out the pumpkin using a spoon or similar instrument (or if you don’t mind getting a bit messy your bare hands). You can either dispose of the seeds and flesh, or perhaps recycle them for a Halloween recipe.
Step 4. Using a marker, sketch out the design you want for the face of your pumpkin. This could be anything from the classic halloween grin to something more zaney. You’ll find some interesting examples in the image below.
Step 5. This is the tricky part. Using a sharp knife, carefully cut away the design you want from the pumpkin. You might want to have a spare pumpkin or two in case of slippages!
Step 6. Place some regular or LED tea lights inside your newly made jack o’ lantern and place in a prime location to scare any trick or treaters brave enough to knock on your door.
Another way to amaze and frighten your friends is with a Primrose mister. Place one in your pond to create the spooky effect of mist pouring over your garden. Or use one of our mini misters inside to create a spooky display indoors for that halloween houseparty. What’s important is that you use a float to keep the mister just the right amount below the water line – misters work by vibrating at an ultrasonic level creating waves of mist, not smoke, that creeps around the surface of the water and the surrounding area, creating a startling effect. For added ambience, you could opt for a mister with colour changing LED lights to really give some atmosphere to your home on Halloween.
We here at Primrose hope the above will help you make this Halloween one to remember.
Charlie works in the Primrose marketing team, mainly on online marketing.
When not writing for the Primrose Blog, Charlie likes nothing more than a good book and a cool cider.
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