Carving Pumpkins: An Ancient Irish Art, a Yearly Tradition

Thank you, Irish ancestors. You guys (and gals) pioneered the whole pumpkin-carving and jack-o’-lantern craze that comes up every October.

Well done.

Of course, you didn’t have pumpkins during your annual Samhain celebrations in ancient Ireland (because pumpkins are native to the Americas). Instead, you carved turnips. I like to think that my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandfather was the best damn Samhain turnip-carver in all of ancient Ireland.

Moving on.

When Irish immigrants came over to the U.S. and found pumpkins, they were all like, “Holy crap! Look at those giant orange turnips … they’d be PERFECT for carving!”

And the rest is history.

Each and every Halloween, I carry on the tradition of my ancestors and have a ton of fun doing it. Below are my humble contributions to the art of pumpkin carving from the past few years. Sláinte!




pumpkin carving 2013







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