Halloween is almost here and many of us will be stocking up on sweets or decorating our homes.
But are you planning to carve a pumpkin this year?
How do you carve a pumpkin?
There are a number of steps that you must follow in order to carve and design the perfect pumpkin.
Whether it is an activity to do with the kids or some decorations for your doorstep, here is a how-to guide.
Step by step pumpkin carving guide
- 1. Cut off the top near the stalk
Make sure the area you cut off is enough to create a lid but leaves a large amount of the pumpkin left. You need a lot of the pumpkin left over so you can create a design when carving.
You can use a pen or pencil to outline the park you are going to cut off.
Take out all of the fleshy inside of the pumpkin to leave the inside empty.
You can scoop out the pumpkin flesh with a big spoon or even your hands if it is easier.
But be warned, this can get a little messy!
There are so many ways that you can convert your pumpkin to the perfect Halloween decoration.
The easiest way to make your pumpkin design dreams a reality the to draw out a a design and use a stencil.
You can buy already made stencils or create your own.
- 4. Carefully cut it out with a knife
Once you have designed your stencil, place on the pumpkin and follow the lines with a sharp knife.
Hollow out the patterns and shapes until your design is complete.
Be careful and watch your fingers!
- 5. Pop a candle inside and replace the lid
The finishing touch – a candle.
Pop the candle in the hollow pumpkin, light it and then replace the lid.
Place your pumpkin in the perfect spot and enjoy the spooky season!
Why are pumpkins a halloween tradition?
Pumpkins are often linked to rebirth and fertility and also symbolise harvest and crops.
As harvest seasons ties in pretty nicely with the spooky season every year, pumpkins became associated with Halloween.
It has now become tradition to use pumpkins are part of Halloween decoration, with time spent carving the big orange fruit to make they look weird and wonderful.
Putting pumpkins outside your door is often an invitation for trick or treaters to visit when out and about on Halloween.
How long do pumpkins last?
Pumpkins can last up to 12 weeks after they are picked – so they have a pretty long life span for a fruit.
However, the clock starts ticking once a pumpkin has been carved.
As it is Halloween tradition to carve the pumpkin into a spooky looking decoration, it will not last quite as long.
After around five to 10 days the pumpkin will begin to rot – and give off a nasty smell as it does so.
If in a warm environment, lifespan may be even sorter with rotting beginning after about three days. On the other hand, your pumpkin could last up to two weeks if in cool surrounding such as outside or if kept in the fridge intermittently.
Keep an eye on your creation and chuck it out before it gets soggy and smelly!
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