For some fun last night, my bestest roommate in the world (if I didn't say this she described some "consequences" that may happen), Kristen and I decided that it would be fun to carve some pumpkins.
Pumpking carving. On a Thursday.
Yes, folks, its come to this.
What would normally be a night of getting plastered at the "Midtown Triangle" (the three main bars that I hit - Farside, Moran's or Dipper's), turned into a night of domestic tranquility.
While carving our creations, I wondered about the history of jack-o-lanterns. Well thanks to Pumpkin Carving 101, I am fully educated!
For you Irish out there - did you know that Halloween was created from the Celtic holiday known as "Samhain" (pronounced "sow wan"), which means "Summer's End". It is also translated from the Hoboken term: "Weekafterhunt" which roughly translates "Winter Drunkfest".
Yes, Samhain is the end of the Celtic year which ended promptly at sundown on October 31. The night was not only the end of the year, but as lore has it - the time in which the veil between the realm of the dead and the realm of the living was at its thinnest. It was considered the most magical night of the year, with the spirits of the dead appearing in the lands of the living.
Because of this, our drunken ancestors decided that it would be a bright idea (no pun intended) to carve turnips and set them around the house to protect them from evil spirits. Call me crazy, but if I set a truckload of turnips around my house in the wilderness to "protect" me from spirits I would have to think they would just kill me out of spite. I get angry just seeing some of the bad decorations that people put up for Christmas around here and want to egg their house like the old days.
Ok, back to the story. So after the zombies and ghosts of the Irish heckled their living relatives about the turnips, it was agreed that maybe turnips weren't the best idea. Plus, they also agreed to stop using lumps of coal and switch to candles after everyone started to burn down their houses.
It wasn't until European settlers, particularly the Irish (with the surname of Furey, im sure), came to America that they started using pumpkins - since they were indigenous to the western hemisphere. Plus, our ancestors learned from the ridicule of carving turnips and didn't want to hear it from the undead Native Indians who were constantly coming up with new ways to heckle the Europeans. So pumpkins it stayed, and last night I continued the tradition of becoming a lame bachelor and stayed in to carve my pumpkins.
Please send your donations of lithium to my home address.
As for our carvings, Kristin's pumpkin was the "Boo Brothers" and I tried to make the "Bat Cave". I rushed thru my carvings, and was done well before her, only to destroy the upper two "bats" because I wasn't careful enough. Now I have to get some toothpicks to fix that for this weekend. Also after carving one, I woke up this morning really jonesing to carve some more. But carver be warned - scooping out a pumpkin is rough stuff!! Our backs were killing us by the end of all our scooping - so I would only suggest trying to do one a night. I included some links for people who want to get into the spirit of Halloween, or are slowly becoming lame like myself. I plan on fixing this situation by getting very drunk at Dipper's tonight, feel free to join me around 10pm.
Pumpkin Masters, they make pumpkin kits and stencils for carving.
The Yard Hunter, this is what happens when you move from Hoboken into the suburbs - you redirect your drinking money into constructing scary yards.
Fontenstein - if you want to be cheap and download fonts rather than buying them, here is a good site to find stencils.
Grow your own Pumpkin patch - never too late to plan for next year.
Halloween Ghost Stories - learn a few stories here to scare the bejesus out of your children, nieces and nephews this weekend. We all know the ghost of Dipper's bar? If you don't - ask the bartenders about the ghost and the stories...
Halloween Web Cam - Not enough trick or treaters stopping by your Hoboken condo? Go online and see what webcams you can find...
New York's Village Halloween Parade - Or you can join the fun yourself and hit the Village to see how the other half lives...