Halloween

A:

A pumpkin remains fresh and holds its color and shape well for only one or two days, and it stays in satisfactory condition for up to one week. Certain steps help prolong the life of a carved pumpkin.

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  • How far in advance can you carve a pumpkin?

    Q: How far in advance can you carve a pumpkin?

    A: A pumpkin remains fresh and holds its color and shape well for only one or two days, and it stays in satisfactory condition for up to one week. Certain steps help prolong the life of a carved pumpkin.
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  • Which vegetable was originally used to carve jack-o-lanterns?

    Q: Which vegetable was originally used to carve jack-o-lanterns?

    A: The seasonal practice of carving a vegetable and putting a light inside originates in Ireland as part of Celtic tradition; because pumpkins do not occur naturally in this part of the world, the turnip was the vegetable that was originally used to carve jack-o-lanterns. Other root vegetables, including rutabagas, potatoes and beets, may also have been used to create these veggie lanterns, which used candles, burning coal or embers to create light and were intended as talismans to ward off evil spirits. Irish immigrants likely brought the practice to the United States, and exposure to the large, internally hollow and easily carved pumpkin started a new tradition of carving pumpkins instead of root vegetables.
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  • Why do people wear costumes on Halloween?

    Q: Why do people wear costumes on Halloween?

    A: Most experts believe that the tradition of wearing costumes on Halloween originated in ancient days with the Celtic festival of Samhain, where participants lit fires and wore costumes to scare away ghosts.
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  • When did Halloween become a national holiday?

    Q: When did Halloween become a national holiday?

    A: Halloween is not recognized as a federal or national holiday in the United States. However, the federal government does acknowledge it as a recognized American holiday.
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  • How early can you carve a pumpkin?

    Q: How early can you carve a pumpkin?

    A: According to DowningPumpkins.com, pumpkins should only be carved within a day of use. However, bleach and vegetable oil can extend the life of a carved pumpkin.
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  • Why do we get candy on Halloween?

    Q: Why do we get candy on Halloween?

    A: Candy is traditionally given out on Halloween to children who dress up in costumes and go door-to-door asking for candy in a custom known as trick-or-treating. It is increasingly common for children to trick-or-treat in retail stores, or to receive candy at church or community carnivals.
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  • Why do people dress up for Halloween?

    Q: Why do people dress up for Halloween?

    A: The tradition of dressing up for Halloween most likely comes from the Medieval practices of "mumming" and "going a-souling," which historically took place on All Saints Day and All Souls Day. Mumming meant dressing up in costumes, singing, dancing, play-acting and making other general mischief. Souling meant going door to door offering prayers for the dead in exchange for treats. Current Halloween customs are an amalgamation of traditions from Celtic, various pagan and Roman traditions.
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  • How long do uncarved pumpkins last?

    Q: How long do uncarved pumpkins last?

    A: An uncarved pumpkin stays fresh for two to three months when stored at outdoor temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At room temperature, a pumpkin starts to go bad after about a month.
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  • Who started Halloween?

    Q: Who started Halloween?

    A: The Celtic people started Samhain, the festival that eventually became known as Halloween, in the early days of the first millennium A.D. The festival celebrated the dead, whom the Celtics believed could join the living on that day.
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  • How do you apply makeup to look like a vampire?

    Q: How do you apply makeup to look like a vampire?

    A: To look like a vampire, it is necessary to apply white makeup to the entire face, red and black makeup around the lips and mouth, black and red makeup around the eyes and gray makeup around the cheekbones. A vampire makeup kit that contains all of the required colors and makeup applicators to create an authentic vampire look can be purchased for $5 to $10.
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  • Q: What are some ideas for creative Halloween cupcakes?

    A: Martha Stewart's ghost cupcakes and tombstone cupcakes are two good ideas for creative Halloween cupcakes. Jumbo and mini cupcakes connected by marshmallows and covered with fondant give the ghost cupcakes their shape, while crushed chocolate wafers form the "dirt" on top of which the shortbread-cookie tombstones sit.
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  • Q: How do you paint a pumpkin?

    A: Paint a pumpkin by getting a nicely shaped pumpkin, washing the pumpkin, adding a layer of varnish, painting the pumpkin, and adding a layer of sealer. This process takes up to 1 hour, which does not include drying time. You need a pumpkin, paint, a paintbrush, varnish and sealer.
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  • Q: Where can you find a "Jeepers Creepers" mask for a costume?

    A: Both Halloween Express and Party City sell “Jeepers Creepers” Creeper masks, as of 2015. Trend Times sells a similar, but less detailed mask. The mask depicts the face of the Creeper, which is the monster in the "Jeepers Creepers" series of movies.
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  • What are some Halloween games for a haunted house?

    Q: What are some Halloween games for a haunted house?

    A: Some fun Halloween games for a haunted house include Mummy Wrap, What's in the Bowl? and Bobbing for Apples. Some takes on existing games haunted house visitors can play with pumpkins include golf, bowling and bocce.
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  • Q: Who brought Halloween to America?

    A: The Irish brought Halloween to America. Halloween is an ancient Celtic tradition thought to date back as far as 700 B.C. in the northern rural territories of Ireland, England and Scotland.
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  • How did "trick or treat" become part of Halloween?

    Q: How did "trick or treat" become part of Halloween?

    A: No one knows when the phrase "trick or treat" came into use, but the custom of kids walking neighborhoods to collect candy began in America in the 1920s. The Peanuts cartoon strip permanently embedded the phrase “trick or treat” into American Halloween pop culture in 1951. Disney further embedded trick-or-treat in Halloween tradition in 1952 with Donald Duck and his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie starring in the cartoon feature "Trick or Treat."
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  • Q: How do you make a ghost decoration for Halloween?

    A: To make a ghost decoration, cover a yardstick and Styrofoam ball frame with cheesecloth, then spray the head and hands with liquid starch. Allow that to dry, and glue on felt eyes and a mouth. When completed, remove the frame, and hang the ghost using fishing line.
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  • Q: What are some fun games to play at Halloween parties?

    A: Fun Halloween party games for children include "Pop Goes the Pumpkin," "Doughnuts on a String," "Dead Man's Guts" and "Pin the Face on the Pumpkin." For the adult Halloween party, some enjoyable options are to host a murder mystery game, Halloween photo scavenger hunt, "Movie Master" game, "Chalk Outlines" and "Have You Learned Anything From Horror Movies?"
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  • Q: What are some tips for judging a Halloween costume party?

    A: Good tips for judging a Halloween costume contest include creating contest divisions and choosing particular award categories, such as the scariest or most unique costume. Use a set list of criteria when awarding points to each contestant. If there are several judges, add the scores they give to each contestant to determine the winner.
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  • Q: What are some fun Halloween games for school-age kids?

    A: Fun Halloween party games for school-age kids include Pin the Face on the Jack-o'-Lantern and Ghostly Giggle Tent Walk, according to Today's Parent. Pin the Face on the Jack-o'-Lantern is a fun twist on Pin the Tail on the Donkey. To play, a pumpkin is drawn on a Bristol board, then blindfolded kids stick the eyes, nose and mouth where they think they should go.
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  • Q: What are some trick or treat times in Virginia?

    A: Halloween trick or treat hours in Virginia vary by city and county, but generally begin around dusk and continue until 8 p.m. Some areas don't have official times, and some cities have an age restriction that trick or treaters must be under the age of 13.
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