Nothing reminds me more of Halloween and the Autumn season that pumpkins. Whether you carve, paint, glitter or whatever your pumpkin they make great decorations for the Fall season. I also use them past Halloween to decorate for Thanksgiving. So in honor of the Great Pumpkin here are some interesting facts about a favorite Autumn symbol.
- Turnips and beets served as the original jack-o-lanterns.
- Jack-o-lanterns originated in Ireland where people placed candles in hollowed-out turnips to keep evil away spirits on the Celtic holiday of Samhain (now commonly known as Halloween!).
- Pumpkins also come in white, blue and green besides the traditional orange.
- Pumpkins originated in Central America and were used by Native Americans. Europeans took the seeds back to Europe were they became popular.
- Pumpkins are a berry in the cucurbitaceae family, which also includes melons, cucumbers, squash and gourds.
- Growing BIG pumpkins is a popular hobby. Top prize money at fall events can reach $25,000 for the biggest pumpkin.
- The 2010 world record for the biggest pumpkin was 1,810.5 pounds!
- There are no words in the American dictionary that rhyme with orange, the main pumpkin color.