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Whedonesque - a community weblog about Joss Whedon
"Superpowers, a scintillating wit, and the best body money can buy... and I still rate below a corpse."
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December 30 2007

The crew of Serenity GOURDIFIED! Just in time for...well, there is always next year.

Carved the Captain this Halloween and I have to admit it was a big hit.

Well, it's either 2 months too late or 10 months too early.

Either way, I am SO Hiro-ing a pumpkin next year.

(And we don't even HAVE Halloween in Australia!)
Wow! That's fabulous. I like the Wash one best.
Wow, those are awesome!!
No Halloween in Australia? I never knew that. That's awful.
This page also has a link to 10 reasons it's good to be Sarah Connor.
love the River one!
Halloween is pretty much an American thing. It's slowly spreading elsewhere.
But pumpkins like these would put a smile on my face wherever I was!
Awesome! I've been looking for a pattern of the ship, but now I have a back up plan in case I can't find one for next year.
Wow... some of those would take some intensely intricate work with your knife.
Hmm, celebrating Halloween (especially Trick or Treating) is maybe an American thing but Halloween itself has obviously been around a while (longer than the USA for instance ;).

And as a kid in Scotland i'd go door to door "guising", usually in costume, do a "piece" (poem/song/whatever) for sweets or go dookin' for apples - fill a basin with water, stick a bunch of apples in there and then try to catch one just using your head/mouth, much merriment (and dampness ;) ensued. What can I say, people had to make their own entertainment back then ;).

Those pumpkins (presumably ?) are great, must take ages to carve them out.
Dunking for apples was still popular when I was a kid. We did it at a neighbor's party. I just have this vision of a tub of saliva after a couple kids had had a turn. I can understand why it is not done much anymore. :-(

Pumpkins are fun and hygienic if done properly. Those seem like they would be a horror to carve though.

And Halloween has been around for a lot longer than the USA. I guess we just saw a potential for fun and grabbed ahold with both hands. ;-)
Yeah, any excuse for a party, right (which makes it all the more puzzling that they don't have it in Australia ;) ?

ETA: Yeah, the saliva thing could be an issue - there was a variant where you'd hold a fork between your teeth and drop it with the hopes of "harpooning" an apple, even Adrian Monk could play that one ;).

[ edited by Saje on 2007-12-31 14:23 ]
Halloween itself has been around awhile. The modern American observances are pretty much home-grown, though. (I spent some time researching it a couple years ago for the articles linked to, much of it chasing down blind alleys.)
Think you meant "Gloried". We must not piss off our Hellgod from the depths, shall we?

(Heh, I'm smiling ear to ear!)
Well, hey, any excuse we Americans can find for stuffing our faces...
I meant "Gourdified" Madhatter. It was a play on the word glorified. Pumpkins are in the gourd family.
Whoa - those are fancy! Huh, and to think I was smug about my Watchmen-smiley pumpkin last year...
It really didn't take that long to carve the Captain and it turned out almost exactly like the pattern. The only thing is that some of the remaining lines are extremely thin and wilt after only a day. So I would advise you to carve yours on Halloween.
You can keep some of the wilting at bay by putting Vaseline along the cut edges. Also, covering the cut face with seran wrap helps. You might be able to get two or three days out of some of those designs that way.
OK, resident Wiccan here. Nice to see Samhain acknowledged as (very much) pre-dating All Saints day, but it certainly wasn't celebrated by the Celts, or anyone else, as "the start of winter".
What,the folks who built Stonehenge couldn't calculate the seasons? :-)
Shey: yes and no. I take summer and winter as being the two poles of the calendar in the original context. Samhain, being summer's end, would also be the marker of winter's beginning; conversely, Beltane would mark the end of winter and the start of summer. I don't think this is an inaccurate way of looking at it, just a simplified one.

[edited in light of newcj's comment below to say: I mean that my description is a simplified way of looking at Samhain and Beltane, not that the Celtic system itself was a simplified way of looking at the seasons. Hence the paragraph that follows...]

I have no doubt there are more nuanced ways of explaining the ancient Celtic calendar system, though. Were I still working for the website in question, I likely would have been interested in exploring the subject further in a separate article.

[ edited by Shmuel on 2008-01-01 18:34 ]
My understanding was that most ancient cultures did anything but simplify their views of the seasons and the heavens since they ruled their lives and determined their survival so thoroughly. One birdie told me that Halloween was more a celebration concerned with the between times that some cultures found fascinating in themselves. Between summer and winter also could be connected to the idea of between life and death. I am no expert, so I don't know if this has anything to do with anything, but it seemed like if it wasn't true, it should be. ;-)

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