Pumpkin carving - a wonderful craft
Halloween is a bit too scary for me but I am rather fond of a bit of pumpkin artistry
Posted on: 19th October 2015
On reflection, I have come to the conclusion that I find Halloween just a bit too scary. I’ve never enjoyed horror films – I’m baffled as to why we would encourage our creative industry to imagine with such macabre glee man’s potential for cruelty. Equally I don’t understand why audiences embrace further gruesome violence when we are exposed to so many real-life horrors. If only the nightmare of a three-year-old boy’s drowned body washing up on a beach in Turkey had been just a plotline from the latest Halloween blockbuster.
So I choose not to celebrate imaginary horrors. Instead I prefer to celebrate Harvest Festival instead. In England Harvest Festival is most commonly known as a Christian festival when the faithful are encouraged to give thanks for their own good fortune by collecting food and other supplies to be distributed to those in need. The festival is of course held at the end of harvest time when, with a bit of luck and sunshine, the fields and orchards will have yielded bumper crops to be gathered before the barren winter months.
For those of us who aren’t fond of the heebie-jeebies (a wonderful expression), the pumpkin offers a ‘way in’ to Halloween – a point of connection with the more optimistic harvest celebrations. So this year, you won’t find me telling ghost stories around the fire with my family, instead we will be carving pumpkins together. Whilst the younger members of my family will inevitably favour wild and fantastic versions of the traditional ghoulish face but I have discovered the cheap-and-cheerful pumpkin carving kits that are sold all over the place and this discovery has transformed my approach to the noble art of carving.
Like a more ‘hands on’ jigsaw, I rather enjoy obediently following the instructions to carve out an image that I would never come close to achieving on my own. The picture above is a previous creation of mine. The nice thing about having one’s own blog is that I’m able to show it off! This year I will sit down with the book of stencils and solemnly (and with no small amount of mocking from my family) select my project. I’ll let you know how I get on.