Pumpkin Day

Pumpkin Day is celebrated on October 26th of each year. This unofficial food holiday pays tribute to the underrated pumpkin, which has many uses besides being sacrificed to Halloween. Pumpkins are a vegetable, similar to gourds and related to squash. The flesh of the pumpkin can be spiced and used to make desserts like pumpkin pie or pumpkin cheesecake (which has it's own day of celebration). Pumpkin can be used to make bread, cookies and is even used in savory dishes.
Pumpkins are the harbinger of the harvest season, appearing every year as the first sign of autumn. Did you know that the word “pumpkin” comes from the Greek word “pepon,” meaning 'large melon'?
Pumpkins can be grown on every continent except Antarctica, and the United States produces about 1.5 billion pounds of them each year. A Wisconsin farmer grew the largest pumpkin ever recorded. He used seaweed, cow manure, and fish emulsion to grow his pumpkin, which weighed a total of 1,810 pounds and was the size of a dumpster.
Celebrate Pumpkin Day by carving a pumpkin in time for Halloween and bake the tasty seeds.

History

While the origins of Pumpkin day are not clear, the pumpkin's association with Halloween can be traced back to old England. According to legend, a cruel prankster called 'Jack' died and wasn't allowed in to heaven or hell. In purgatory, Jack wandered around carrying a hallowed out turnip converted to a lamp, fueled by a piece of coal given to him by the devil. Hence-'jack-o-lantern.' Though there is no clear documentation as to why the jack-o-lanterns are now made out of pumpkins, it is thought that when Halloween-celebrating Irish immigrants came to the U.S., the found that the large round pumpkins were better for carving.

Celebration

On Pumpkin Day, as well as throughout the month of October, make use of the abundance of pumpkins available and try out some pumpkin recipes. Start off by learning how to make a pumpkin pie. Don't throw out the seeds because they are a treat in themselves if you roast them. If you'd like to try something different, learn how to make pumpkin butter or pumpkin cookies. If you're hearts set on carving that pumpkin, check out our page on how to carve a killer pumpkin.