Beer makes carving better.My friend Amy and I have an annual pumpkin-carving tradition. I had a friend who was a Jehovah’s Witness who really made me think about pseudo-holidays like this. What exactly am I celebrating? I’m not Wiccan, right? But instead of casting aside all of my traditions, I then started reflecting on Dia de los Muertos and All Soul’s Day, both contemplating the passing of souls from one world to the next. I’m fascinated that our world religions created such competition. I can hear the marketing thought process: The feast of the Rising Sun is drawing some of our members to a pagan feast? Fine. Let’s make it the most important holiday we can…. how about Christ’s birth? Feast of the Rising Son, get it?

It just shows we are more similar than different. Now, I try to not just think of a fun costume, but to really reflect on the soul’s passing from the body. But as evidenced by the photos, Amy’s and my carving have little to do with spirituality and much more to do with recapturing a bit of youth.

carving-background.JPGLeave it to me to overthink something really fun. Amy and I spread out newspapers and hacked up some gourds. It’s actually somewhat artistic and our designs vary by year. I always think I’ll do one of those elaborate, shaded carvings, but I always end up wanting to just cut out some corncob teeth. Amy’s on the left with the scary pumpkin; I’m holding the sad face pumpkin.

I just hope that this year, I manage to discard the pumpkin a little earlier than last year.

3 thoughts on “Pumpkins

  1. For some reason the pumpkins seem afraid when I come into the store… I can’t imagine why.

    Doesn’t everyone carve their pumpkins with a 30″ blade? Of course, I’m not left with much to put a candle in.

  2. Pingback: Nicole, Deipnosophist. » Pumpkin Seeds

  3. Hi Nicole, I was learning from your husbands Dish website and somehow ended up here. My daughters and I always carve pumpkins together. Just a little FYI if it’s of interest-it’s actually Dia de los Muertos (day of the dead). Indians in Mexico believed that during a certain time of the year the world of the dead was very close to the world of the living so they used the opportunity to honor their ancestors who had passed on. Also offerings were made to the Lady of the Dead (Mictecacihuatl). The time of year was very close to All Souls Day so the two holidays kind of blended together. It’s actually a happy time, not scary at all. We hold parades and make “Ofrendas” (like an altar sort of) with things that the passed on relative enjoyed. Pictures, maybe candies or flowers they liked, baseball hat or movie magazines-anything that expressed what they like and our love for them. Just in case you were curious thought I’d run this down. Well, take care and God bless you and yours.

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