Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pumpkin carving

 Inside the buttercup pumpkin, once the lid has been removed, a golden flower awaits discovery.
 Cutting out the lid is the first step in carving the pumpkin for Halloween. Here in New Zealand Halloween falls on April 30. Each year I hold Ponsonby Halloween on the street. It's happening tonight on Ponsonby Rd, from 7 pm till 8.30 pm. Families will be dropping by, and anyone who wishes to remember their loved ones who have died. (I'm doing it a day early this year)
 I carved a second pumpkin, a butternut - much easier as it has quite a thin skin.
The grey crown pumpkins are harder, so I'm going to leave the big one (that I grew out at the bach), and just take the others. It's time to pack my car with broom (for sweeping the pavement), mats, poster boards, candles, and the concertina that I'll play while people arrive to light their candles and lanterns. There's no telling how many will turn up.
The sun is peeking out right now, but it's a day of showers and wind also. I'll let you know how it goes.


Hotly Spiced said...

Is it called Guy Fawkes Night? I do remember celebrating that when I was growing up in NZ. And it was such a fun night and I think it was also called 'Bonfire Night'. I love the pumpkin with the flower - very clever xx

Juliet said...

Hi Charlie, no Guy Fawkes Night is on November 5. I have been writing and teaching about restoring our festivals to their rightful place in the southern hemisphere seasons. The commercial import of halloween comes into the shops in October, but this ancient festival of the dead is originally a late autumn one, and so we need to transpose the northern hemisphere timing by 6 months to fit our seasons. So April 30 is the date for NZ and Australia.

lifeonthecutoff said...

I don't think I've seen a buttercup pumpkin hereabouts, Juliet, but now I will pay closer attention come our own Autumn - or maybe I should look now that they are coming in season in New Zealand. Our Gala apples are from NZ and we love them here.

The flower seed pod intrigues me. It reminds me of all the mysteries of nature. How does such a flower of seeds always form in this pumpkin? Rather like cutting an apple in half from the center and finding the seeds form a star in every apple.

Enjoy your celebration. I'll be anxious to see and hear more about it.

Anonymous said...

Love the idea of your Ponsonby rd candles. I cannot remember doing much at all in NZ at Halloween.It seems very american to me. Buttercups are my favourite pumpkin.. I grow them every year..celi

Ruth G said...

I love to think of you sitting on Ponsonby Road surrounded by candles and playing your concertina. Here we had a ritual focussed on the crone, after we'd processed in the moonlight carrying lanterns.

Juliet said...

Penny, the buttercup pumpkins are tiny, with green skins and are extra tasty. Someone carved some Gala apples into little lanterns last night - I'll post a photo later today. Thank you.
Celi, Halloween is certainly more recent in NZ, but it's been imported from USA without any attention to its seasonal roots. That's why I reverse it by 6 months and am encouraging people to celebrate at the right time of year, and restore the meaning.
Ruth, sounds like you had a wonderful evening too.
Thanks everyone for the comments, much appreciated.

Lynley said...

I love how innovative you all were carving lanterns and the small tea light candles are perfect.

Juliet said...

It was fun Lynley.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - Halloween is when the pumpkins come out - makes sense! I love the buttercup one .. amazing carvings you've done and then the party .. sounds great fun .. and you've got a concertina to play - wish I was musical .. let alone being able to play an instrument with you.

Great community spirit you've got .. have fun .. cheers Hilary

Juliet said...

Yes, the sense of community was great Hilary. Thanks for dropping by.