Pick your pumpkin, dig out your tools and carve your way to the font page this Halloween.

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Fascinating pumpkin facts

The pumpkin has been used to celebrate Halloween since Victorian times.

In Ireland, children carved Jack-o-lanterns out of turnip, potato or sugarbeet and lit it with a candle.

When thousands of Irish immigrants fled to America during the potato famine, they started carving pumpkins which were cheaper.

According to an Irish legend, Jack-o-lanterns were named after a man called Jack, who could not enter heaven because he was a miser and he could not go to hell because he played jokes on the devil. So instead, he had to walk the earth with his lantern until Judgement Day.

Pumpkins and other varieties of squash are all members of the cucurbitacae family, which also includes cucumbers, gherkins, and melons.

From spooky faces and witches on broomsticks to cats and bats, the EDP is encouraging people to get carving.

Pam Ford, who runs Ford and Yarham greengrocers’, off Unthank Road in Norwich, with her son, Chris, sells hundreds of pumpkins every year.

“They are locally grown pumpkins - some of them were grown in Hethersett.

“We have a witch outside the shop every year which always attracts children. We always have a large selection of pumpkins but smaller ones are often more popular so children can carry them. When they get too big, children can’t carry them home.

Mr Ford said that this year’s crop had been good and in the final few days leading up to Halloween, they started to stock larger pumpkins.

“A local pub buys smaller pumpkins because they carve one for each table,” Mr Ford added.

As the darker evenings draw in, Mr and Mrs Ford carve and light their own pumpkins outside their shop.

And now it is your chance to get involved. The EDP is running a competition to find the most creative pumpkin.

Simply carve a design in a pumpkin and send a photo of you with your creation via www.iwitness24.co.uk or email to picdesk@archant.co.uk and the winning photo will be printed on the front of the paper.

The deadline for entries is Friday, October 26.




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