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Today it is Monday 19 November 2018.
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Make an ugly face

19 October 2014

Make an ugly face out of your prize pumpkin and enter it for one of Ireland's fabulous pumpkin carving competitions, now on all over the country - you could win a fantastic prize!

It's no wonder pumpkin carving competitions are a national obsession, as carving Jack-o'-Lanterns has been an Irish custom for hundreds of years, originally a way of recreating the flickering lights of the will-o'-the-wisp said to float over peat bogs at around Hallowe'en time. Then, they were made of turnips or mangelwurzels, but these days pumpkins are more common, casting a particularly spooky orange tint to the candlelight.

Pumpkin carving is getting ever more sophisticated and elaborate, and some of the best designs are still to be seen in Ireland. Over the next few weeks you can admire the extraordinary creations of master pumpkin carvers at Bundoran in Donegal (30 October), where there's also a pumpkin parade, and the Virginia Pumpkin Festival in Co. Cavan (24-28 October) where there's a giant pumpkin competition too. You can even have a go yourself if you visit the Powercourt Garden Pavilion in Wicklow between Saturday 25 October and Monday 27 October, where there's a whole pumpkin-themed party going on - just in time for Hallowe'en.


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