Do you want pumpkin-inspired recipes for Halloween? Are you looking to create a menu that will impress family and friends at your party? Perhaps you may be wondering what is the origin of Halloween and why are pumpkins associated with Halloween? This blog will answer the questions you have been asking and provide the perfect pumpkin recipes, from simple soups, arancine, to fabulous salads and pasta dishes.
Halloween is celebrated every year on the 31 October. Halloween was originally known as All Hallows Eve, that is, the evening before All Hallows Day (now commonly known as All Saints’ Day). Over time, the name All Hallows Eve was shortened to Halloween. Halloween is believed to have originated in Ireland with the celebration of Samhain, a festival to celebrate the end of the harvest. Groups of farmers would go door-to-door knocking to ask for food and materials for the festival. The tradition goes that those who gave were promised prosperity and those who didn’t received threats of bad luck.
In ancient times, people also believed that on the night of All Hallows Eve, ghosts of the dead would revisit the mortal world. People would light bonfires and wear costumes to scare them away. Christians would also gather on All Hallows Eve to ask for God’s blessing and protection from evil spirits.
Why are pumpkins associated with Halloween?
In the 19th century turnips were hollowed out and candles inserted to act as lanterns – now known as Jack O’ Lanterns. The turnip lanterns were placed in doorways to scare away evil spirits – like you guessed, it an evil man named Jack. When the Irish migrated to America, pumpkins were considered to be a larger and therefore better substitute for the turnip. Today, people from many parts of the world hollow out pumpkins for Halloween.
In Australia, we don’t see that many carved pumpkins – certainly not in doorsteps as you see in America with scary and creative designs leading up to and on Halloween.
Halloween is most celebrated in Ireland, Canada and the United States. Every year in Mexico, Latin America and Spain, Día de Muertos (the day of the dead) is also celebrated from 31 October to 2 November to honour deceased loved ones and ancestors.
The tradition of dressing up, carving Jack o’ Lanterns and going door-to-door knocking (now known as trick-or-treating) live on – with the difference that it is more about collecting sweet treats. I read that in the United States, ¼ of the annual candy sales are made during the period of Halloween.
Of course, you don’t need to cook spooky looking food or participate in Halloween activities – they are not for everyone. For me, it’s a great time to have fun with pumpkin recipes. Here are top 5 pumpkin-inspired Italian recipes. Discover more Italian recipes online at Italian Spoon. You can also register with us for free and add these recipes to your favourites or My Meal Plan today.
Looking for Halloween food ideas? Italian Spoon’s top 5 pumpkin recipes of all time blog authored by Vanessa Bottaro.