Pumpkins - Facts and Tips from Holidays and Observances

In our culture, pumpkins are a fruit of beauty! We grow them for size, we use them for decorations, we process them, and can them to use for breads, pies, desserts, and soups. 

They are often seen in the crisp fall months, and are mostly associated with the big holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. How can you think about Thanksgiving dinner, or even Christmas dinner, without pumpkin pie?

In addition to delicious pumpkin recipes that can be made from pumpkins, they are often used as decorations, centerpieces for your holiday meal, or carved out for Halloween decorations!

Pumpkins - Facts and Tips from Holidays and Observances

Holidays and Observances associated with Pumpkins

  • National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day - October 21
  • National Pumpkin Pie Day - December 25
  • Pumpkin Chunkin Days - November 4-6, 2016
  • Pumpkin Day - October 26
  • Thanksgiving - November 24, 2016 (Fourth Thursday of November)

Pumpkins - Facts and Tips from Holidays and Observances

A holiday centerpiece that our Mom did for our Thanksgiving Dinner.

Pumpkin Facts

  • Pumpkins are actually a "Fruit", and not a "Vegetable". They are in fact the world's largest fruit. They are considered a fruit, because they grow on a vine and contain seeds.
  • They are a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash, melons, and cucumbers.
  • They are over 90% water!
  • 80% of the pumpkin supply in the United States is in the month of October.
  • Pumpkin seeds are also edible and make a great snack.  You can scoop them from your pumpkins that you carve, give them a good scrubbing, and put them in the oven until slightly golden for a tasty treat. Find out all the details to make them on our Pumpkin Recipes page!
  • Pumpkins are full of beta-carotene, a carotenoid, which your body turns into Vitamin A.  They also provide fiber, Vitamin B, Iron, Protein, and Potassium, and are low in fat.
  • In the United States, pumpkins were originally a Native American Indian Crop.
  • Even Alaska grows pumpkins!  The only continent that does not, is Antarctica.
  • The tradition of carving Jack-o'-lanterns in the United States started from the Irish Immigrants, who had previously been using turnips.
  • They can grow to over 1000 pounds, when they are grown with special care.  In fact the largest pumpkin grown on record is 1,810 pounds.
  • They come in varying shades of white, yellow, and orange.
  • They take about 4 months to grow, until they are ready for harvesting.
  • They are mainly grown to be processed.
  • The pumpkin capital of the World is Morton, Illinois, where the Libby plant is located.
  • A 5 pound pumpkin will give you about 4 1/2 cups of fresh pumpkin puree, and one 16 oz can of puree will give you about 2 cups of puree. Find out how to make fresh pumpkin puree on our Pumpkin Recipes page!
  • One cup of cooked pumpkin is only 49 calories, so it is a low calorie treat!
  • Costco pumpkin pies should be divided into 16ths, and not 8ths for proper food portioning.  Most will cut them into eighths, even though the pies are huge! An 1/8th slice of Costco pies will run you 431 calories!
  • They are famous and used in fairly tales and cartoons. Cinderella had a pumpkin chariot, and most have watched "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown".
  • Sadly...They can be a vandalism object during Halloween, or after with many throwing pumpkins and making a big mess! They are messy to clean up, and can be slippery when thrown, so please just don't! 
  • If you want to see some fantastic pumpkin decorations, I just discovered the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens Facebook Page! They are located in Dallas, Texas, and have some amazing looking Pumpkin displays!

Pumpkins - Facts and Tips from Holidays and Observances

Additional Pumpkin Information 

Pumpkin Carving Tips and Videos

Pumpkin Carving

Pumpkin Recipes from the Holidays and Observances Website

Pumpkin Recipes

See some of our favorite pumpkin recipes and get lots of tips with cooking with pumpkin. Plus...share your Pumpkin Recipes!

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