The Dinette Teller – 44. Curiosities about Pumpkin and Halloween

One of the main symbols of Halloween is the pumpkin!

This is the time of the year to make provisions of candies and sweet treats because bunches of children are going to knock on your door in just a few days, shouting “Trick or Treat?”

Adults and children absolutely love this celebration worldwide, and it now represents a must also in countries, where Halloween is not a fond part of their tradition, such as Spain, Greece and Italy.

However, despite its “spooky” reputation, this amazing vegetable hides a wide variety of nutritional and health benefits… let’s discover them together!

Wonderful Pumpkin

Pumpkin Properties

  • The pumpkin is one of the biggest existing vegetables and is part of the Cucurbitacee Family (with courgette, cucumber, watermelon, and cantaloupe). This family is characterized by a high amount of water content. Therefore the pumpkin has a strong depurative character, and it is low in calories.
  • It has calming properties and therefore is recommended to those who that suffer from insomnia and irritability. It also contains serotonin, a molecule which can improve the mood and relax the nerves.

Against insomnia

  • As any yellow/orange vegetable, also the pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene. It is an important antioxidant, which can protect the body from free radicals. Therefore, it has a good action on the circulatory system and it acts as an anti-inflammatory molecule. Finally, it is also fundamental for the production of vitamin A, important for the sight function, teeth and bone health. Half a cup of pumpkin purèe is enough to ensure the daily recommended vitamin A intake.

Good for your health

  • The pumpkin is rich in mineral salts, such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc. It is also rich in fibre, useful for the digestive function.
  • All the parts of the pumpkin can be eaten! Skin, meat, leaves and seeds! Delicious!
  • Consume the seeds after baking them in the oven. They are rich in cucurbitacin, which is a natural antiseptic of the urinary tract.

Delicious seeds

  • A very famous Italian saying is “Lui è fuori di zucca”! which literally means “He’s out of his gourd”
  • The pumpkin was already harvested in 5000BC by the South American tribes. In fact, the seeds represented a good source of proteins and they were easily transportable, perfect for commercial tradings.

Halloween Funny Facts

What connects pumpkin with the Halloween tradition?

Let’s discover few nice curiosities about this celebration:

  • The origin of the name Halloween comes from the contraction of the “All Hallows Eve”, which was the evening before the All Saints Day. It began in Ireland in the 18th Century.
  • The celt tradition of the Jack O’Lantern was born in Ireland, when an Irish farmer called Stingly Jack, tried to cheat on the Devil. It was condemned to wander around in the dark for his whole life, with just an ember. He built a lantern with a pumpkin, carving it.

Jack O’Lantern

  • The traditional colours of Halloween are Orange and Black. The Orange symbolise the autumnal light and the virtue of the strength. The Black colour is linked to the mystery and death and it represents the dark of the coming Winter.
  • Celts used to wear wild animals leathers after the sacrificial rituals of the 31st of October, so as to dispel the vagrant spirits of the city. From this habit, it follows the tradition of wearing costumes for Halloween. The most beloved ones are Dracula, the princess, Batman, the witch, zombie, the Pumpkin and various kind of animals.
  • In Hong Kong, Halloween is called “Yue Lan”, meaning the “Celebration of the Hungry Ghosts”. They use to light fires and to offer food as a gift, to fill their tummy.

Chinese Halloween

  • On Halloween night it is possible to find out a few things of our future. The first one is the length of our life: peel an apple, trying to obtain the longest strip of skin you can. Its length symbolizes the length of your life as well. Secondly, if you are a young girl, you can discover the face of your future husband, laying out a wet linen in front of the fire. Finally, wearing our clothes on the reverse side, and walking backwards, it will maybe possible to meet a witch.

Let’s find out the length of your life

So have fun and enjoy your Halloween Night! Best Wishes for a great celebration from the whole team of Taste With Gusto!

Happy Halloween!

 

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