Jack-o-lantern 101

Halloween isn’t complete without all the glowing jack-o-lanterns carved up to spooky perfection.  When we had Halloween in Australia pumpkin carving wasn’t really popular, probably because the pumpkins were all around $21 a kilo! Halloween is a spring holiday on the other side of the world, so pumpkins (a fall vegetable) have to be shipped in from colder climates.  Somehow I don’t think jack-o-lanterns are destined to become a tradition there.

Fortunately, back in the states, we can get a huge pumpkin for around $5 and we just found some awesome free templates to help us in our artistic endeavor.  X-ACTO blades are offering free patterns to help the less artistic of us with our carving.  I’ve linked them at the bottom of this post.

Incidentally, we can thank the Irish for our jack-o-lantern customs.  This is what

The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns”—the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.

Since Mr. Smith has some Irish blood flowing thru him, I think we’ll definitely have to go get our pumpkin today to ward Stingy Jack away from our house this Halloween!

You can read Jack’s sad and selfish tale here and retell it as you do your own carving, and here’s those templates to help.

The Great Orange Shark

Mustachio’d Monster

Pumpkin Pi

Nar-Squash

Sugar Skull

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, author, and publisher with over 20 years of experience in newspaper journalism. She is a Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist and HWA Mentor of the Year for 2020. She co-publishes Space and Time, a publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction since 1966. Join the community at spaceandtime.net
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4 Responses to Jack-o-lantern 101

  1. Good luck with your pumpkin carving. I have no talent in this area, I’m not sure even a template would be enough to save me :-)

  2. Amy Eye says:

    Thanks for the templates and a fun story!! GETTING SO CLOSE TO HALLOWEEN!! YEA!

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