Do you and your children embrace Halloween? It has become a big celebration in the past few years but many of us are fairly clueless about what Halloween is all about. In fact most people don't know that famous magician Harry Houdini died on the 31st October and 71 per cent were unaware that the original Jack O’Lanterns were made from turnips rather than pumpkins like today.
There are many people around the world who have a phobia of Halloween, but only 24 per cent of Brits were able to identify this condition as “Samhainophobia”. Only one in seven adults have been either ghost hunting or on a ghost walk during their lives and one in five believe you’re more likely to experience something paranormal in the country instead of the city.
So do your children think Halloween is scary or just an excuse to get dressed up, go trick or treating and carve pumpkins?
Pumpkin carving is simple to do and retail sales of Halloween products in the UK are expected to reach £240m this year, a 4% growth from last year’s £230m. Whether you’re demonstrating your own artist flare or nurturing your children’s, pumpkins are one of the easiest ways to partake in the Halloween spirit. So here are our top tips for carving the perfect pumpkin!
- Make an adventure of going to "pick" your pumpkin. Let the children select their own and they will become invested in its creation.
- Pick a good fresh pumpkin with no bruises (and one that has a flat bottom so it won't roll off anywhere).
- Cut out the lid on an angle, not straight up and down. This way the lid won't drop inside the pumpkin when you replace it on top.
- Scoop out all the pulp ..... and then some. You can roast the pumpkin seeds if you are so inclined but usually I can't wait to get rid of them and the mess the pulp makes!
- Hug the pumpkin in your lap when it's time to carve the features. It's easier to carve when the face is gazing up at you and it is even easier if you have a pumpkin stencil. It is *not* cheating, it is being resourceful!!
- A carved pumpkin can go soggy very quickly so don't make your creation too far in advance! To try and keep your pumpkin fresh spread something like Vaseline on the cut edges to seal in moisture.
- While a real candle is lovely, an LED candle is a much safer, cost effective and longer lasting way of keeping the light flickering!