Carvin’ Pumpkin

Late summer breezes have given way to chilly autumn air. What was once leafy-green landscape is now gold and red and mostly on the ground where fallen leaves lay. This year’s Canadian Thanksgiving came and went without a gobble of turkey. Yet ’tis not quite the season for Christmas giving.

This is the time of ghouls and goblins and witches and demons. All in costume and guise of course. For this is Halloween. A yearly ritual of pagan, harvest-festival, Irish or Scottish origin, whichever version of history you may subscribe to. 

Contemporary celebration of "All Hallow’s Eve" is a lot less foreboding and religious. Moms however may still look devilishly good in their horns and fork-tailed leotards, escorting the little ones dressed in ballerina and clown threads, knocking on doors, trick-or-treating.

It is therefore in the spirit of Halloween that us “big kids” decided to join in on the fun. But how does a childless group or adults go up to doorsteps asking lollies from nervous and discriminating home-owners? Let alone gain neighbours trust in chaperoning their precious offspring? 

Forget the notion of trick-or-treating. We never did it as kids and we’re sure not going to experience the thrill now. Next best thing: Pumpkin Carving. Think Jack O’Lanterns and candle-lit silhouettes.

So it was on the weekend prior to October 31st that seven “mature” kids observed the "hallowed evening" in the best way possible. Scrumptious food.. fine wine.. great company.. engaging conversation.. and 'cucurbita maxima' sculpting.

In groups of two and three, we cut through the tops of these overgrown squash, creating a lid where we could put our hands through to scoop out the slimy organs and pepitas.

The face of the pumpkin is outlined with knife or tracer as guideline to which sections of the flesh would be cut out to create the desired effect or image. A template could be used to create the outlines, or better still, compose the image through the mind’s-eye and do it freehand.


After much etching, slicing, provoking and sneering, the works of art took shape. Once done, lighted candles were placed inside the hollow vegetables and displayed in a dark room.

Happy Halloween! 


October 2013

© Prakoso Sastrowardoyo 2012