Pumpkins are so popular, they have not just one, but several national days of the year dedicated to them! In addition to learning some fun pumpkin facts, you’ll also learn about Carve a Pumpkin Day.
Below are the answers to all of your pumpkin related questions – like “are pumpkins a fruit or vegetable?”, “where do pumpkins grow?”, “where did pumpkins originate?” and “how much water is in a pumpkin?”. Keep reading to learn more.
Are pumpkins a fruit or a vegetable?
Pumpkins are a member of the cucurbita family, which includes gourds, winter squash, and zucchini as well as pumpkins!
Surprisingly, pumpkins are a fruit! Since they’re not overly sweet, like tomatoes, people normally assume they’re vegetables. However, they are technically a fruit.
Botanically speaking, a fruit is the mature ovary of a flowering plant and they contain seeds. Think about every food you know that comes from a flower – pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, and even bell peppers – they are technically fruit!
Vegetables are the edible parts of non-flowering plants. They fall into six categories – roots, bulbs, tubers, flowers, stalks, and leaves.
Facts about pumpkins
It’s time to brush up your knowledge on pumpkins! Check out these interesting pumpkin facts, some may surprise you!
- Pumpkins are one of the symbols of Thanksgiving.
- Jack o lanterns originated from an old Irish tale named The Legend of Stingy Jack.
- Did you know that’s there’s a name for pumpkins that have warts on them? They’re called knucklehead pumpkins.
- While pumpkin pie is frequently seen in the fall, they’re also appropriate to serve during the winter because National Pumpkin Pie Day falls on December 25.
- Belguim and Italy are in competition for the title of the world’s largest pumpkin. Until recently Belgium held the title. However a farmer named Stefano Cutrupi recently brought the title to Italy with his enormous 1,226kg (2,703 pound) pumpkin! Belgium has plans to win back the title, but only time will tell.
- The world record for the largest pumpkin pie belongs to the New Bremen Giant Pumpkin Growers of New Bremen, Ohio, USA. The pie had a diameter of 20 ft (6m), and weighed 3,699 lbs (1,678 kg).
- Pumpkins take 90-120 days to grow, and their seeds can be planted from late May until mid July.
- Today’s pumpkin pie looks very different than the early pumpkin pies made by the pilgrims. Their “pumpkin pies” were hollowed out pumpkins filled with milk, spices, and honey that were baked.
- If you enjoy baking pumpkin based desserts, you can make your own pumpkin puree from garden pumpkins.
- Pumpkins come in many colors and shapes and have flavor profiles that can be quite different too.
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Where do pumpkins grow?
Pumpkins can grow on six of the seven continents! Antartica is the only continent where pumpkins can’t grow.
While pumpkins can grow in many different places, the ideal pumpkin growing conditions are in temperatures between 65°F and 95°F. They prefer full sun, but can also grow in the shade.
The pumpkin origin dates back to 7,500 years ago in Central America. Archeologists found the oldest recorded pumpkin seeds in a tomb in the Oaxaca Highlands of Mexico.
More pumpkin facts
Did you enjoy reading the list of facts about pumpkins above? Here’s some more interesting ones for you!
- According to the American Pie Council, pumpkin pie is America’s second favorite pie. Apple pie took the favorite slot.
- Morton, Illinois calls itself the “pumpkin capital of the world” because 85% of the world’s canned pumpkin is produced there.
- Surprisingly, pumpkins are 90% water!
- Every part of the pumpkin is edible – the flowers, seeds, flesh, skin, leaves, and stem!
- The name pumpkin originates from the ancient Greek word pepon meaning large melon.
- Over 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkin are grown in the US every year. Illinois grows the most pumpkins out of any state!
- 80% of the pumpkin crops grown in the United States are available during the month of October.
- There are over 100 varieties of pumpkins, and not all of them are orange. Some are red, green, white, blue, tan and yellow!
- Pumpkins are so popular they have several national days dedicated to them, National Pumpkin Day, National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day and Carve a Pumpkin Day!
What is Carve A Pumpkin Day?
Every year on October 31, we celebrate Halloween. However that date is not just Halloween, it’s also Carve a Pumpkin Day!
This day is a great excuse to carve a pumpkin (or two!). Maybe you’re a cat person, and want to show your love for cats with some cat pumpkin carving ideas.
Or maybe you love Disney and want to make a Nightmare Before Christmas themed pumpkin! Whatever you’d like to carve on a pumpkin, this day is for you!
How to celebrate Carve A Pumpkin Day
Would you like to celebrate Carve A Pumpkin Day in a special way? Try one of these ideas.
- The most obvious way to celebrate Carve A Pumpkin Day is to carve a pumpkin! We have a list of creative pumpkin carving ideas for you to check out if you need some inspiration!
- Read about how to preserve carved pumpkins to make your pumpkins last as long as possible. After all the time you’ve spent carving your pumpkins, it makes sense to elongate their life!
- Go to a pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkin to carve!
- Spread the word on social media using the hashtag #CarveAPumpkinDay. Here is a tweet to get you started:
More October 31 national days
Did you enjoy learning about Carve a Pumpkin Day? Well you’re in luck, October 31 is host to more than just one national day!
Here is a complete list of all the October 31 national days:
- Carve a Pumpkin Day
- National Caramel Apple Day
- Samhain – evening of October 31 to evening of November 1
- Halloween! Check out our Halloween spirituality guide here
- National Doorbell Day
- National Knock Knock Jokes Day
- National Magic Day
- National Increase Your Psychic Powers Day
- Books for Treats Day
- Scare a Friend Day
- Trick or Treat for Unicef Day
- Girl Scout Founders Day
- World Savings Day
More national days in October
National days of the year are a fun way to celebrate odd and unusual foods, animals and items that you come into contact with. Be sure to check out my national day’s guide for more fun days to celebrate.
There are close to 2000 national days in the year and over 150 of them are celebrated in October.
To see them all, have a look at this post to discover more about the national days in October.
Those who love solving puzzles may enjoy our October word search printable of national days.
Be sure to also check out these national days in October:
- National Candy Corn Day – Check out this list of 20+ candy corn themed recipes for National Candy Corn Day.
- National Vodka Day – Want to make a vodka cocktail for your next Halloween party? Head to our post on National Vodka Day to learn more about this spirit!
- National Homemade Cookie Day – Visit the post to learn how to host a Halloween cookie exchange to celebrate this national day!
- National Cake Decorating Day – Learn some tips to decorate cakes for this national day.
- World Pasta Day – Head to this post to learn about 20 popular types of pasta and their ideal sauce pairings, plus 35 pasta recipes!
Pin these facts about pumpkins for Carve a Pumpkin Day for later
Would you like a reminder of this post filled with facts about pumpkins? Just pin this image to one of your trivia boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.
For more special days this month, watch our October national days video on YouTube.
About the author
Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.
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