If our sources at Wikipedia can be trusted, pumpkin carving originated in the British Isles. The only difference being that our British cousins used turnips instead of the modern Jack ‘O Lantern pumpkins that we see in every Halloween movie from the USA.
Pumpkin carving is relatively new in Australia and in 2010 the price of a carving pumpkin was just ludicrous. Our local supermarket here had six pumpkins for sale at a very reasonable CLP$2,500 each. The Harpers sharpened their blades for their first carving soirée. We scanned the Internet looking for ideas and had to steer away from some of the more intricate cemetery scenes and opt out for a traditional toothy grinned lantern. Truce designed one side and Indiana the other.
The street vendors, as reliable as ever, have been flogging tridents, scythes, masks, witch’s hats and anything else ghoulish that can be made from plastic in preparation for tonight. Our kids are normally asleep before the sun goes down but as Halloween is an affair for the night they stayed up later than usual and joined the other zombies, brujas, vampires and evil scientists wandering the streets high on the smell of sugar and food colours 139, 145, E116 and 187.
There seems to be varying degrees of participation in the neighbourhood but those that did give lollies gave very generously. The girls have a pile of lollies that should last them until our trip to the airport.