Each year as the leaves just start to change colors from green to yellow, orange and red the harvest season of autumn and pumpkins has sprung. The weather starts to get cooler and people across the continent start to plan their menus and what crafts to create during the winter holidays surrounding Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Now that the season has begun it is also good to know that October has another holiday many may not be aware of. That’s right, each year on October 26 everyone is invited to celebrate “National Pumpkin Day”!
Pumpkins are actually a fruit. Most people may not realize that since they are usually treated as a vegetable when cooking and baking. The reason they are a fruit is because they grown on a vine and contain seeds. They are also referred to as part of the squash family too.
The United States alone produces over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins each and every year. They can be grown just about everywhere with the exception of one continent, and that is Antarctica.
Pumpkins are easily defined by their smooth, deep orange and ribbed skin. The word “pumpkin” is derived from the Greek word “pepon” which when translated means “large melon”.
Carving pumpkins as home and outdoor decorations referred to as the “jack-o-lantern” didn’t begin until 1837. The first recorded carved pumpkin for Halloween was recorded in 1866. It wasn’t until 1900 that the carved pumpkin became part of the entertaining activities during the holiday of Thanksgiving.
There are so many recipes where pumpkin is used as the main ingredient. Of course we are all familiar with the traditional pumpkin pie. Cooks have expanded their talents with pumpkin to create: pumpkin butter, pumpkin spice, pumpkin ribs, pumpkin soup, pumpkin pudding, and even pumpkin ice cream.
Now let’s not forget another fun tradition, roasting the pumpkin seeds. This is as much fun as carving a pumpkin while creating a great little healthy snack to enjoy.
Pumpkins are also included in fun activities such as pumpkin chucking where teams build mechanical devices that throw a pumpkin as far as possible. Some of these chucking machines are being specialized to not just include speed, accuracy and distance but also trying to ensure a safe landing for the pumpkin so it isn’t squashed when it finally lands. Then there are competitions and festivals dedicated to pumpkins. Who has grown the largest pumpkin and who has baked the best pumpkin pie? Contestants win prizes and walk away with pride at their accomplishments.
How will you celebrate National Pumpkin Day?
© 2013 Beverly Mucha / All Rights Reserved
Never miss another holiday celebration story again, enjoy the fun, unusual, bizarre and traditional holidays every day of the year! Subscribe to Beverly Mucha @ Mobile Holidays Examiner and receive a free notification every time something new is published.
More reading topics from this author: