Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Harry Potter Pumpkin!

Hi everyone and happy Halloween! I made a Harry Potter jack-o-lantern and I'd like to show it to y'all.

But first you need to know I'm in China and jack-o-lanterns are SO not a thing in Chinese culture. The Chinese word is 南瓜灯[nán guā dēng] which literally means "pumpkin lantern"; though the name makes it obvious what it is, from an American perspective I would say the average Chinese person does not really "get" what a jack-o-lantern is supposed to be. Because it's not a thing in Chinese culture. They don't know about choosing a perfect pumpkin and carving it with your family and scooping out the goopy parts with your bare hands and using big knives that make it difficult to cut round shapes.

I see little cartoon pictures of jack-o-lanterns in some malls that put up Halloween decorations, but that doesn't mean Chinese people are actually familiar with what they are or how to make one. Or anything about what Halloween is.

(For example, the school where I work had a Halloween party with food and costumes and games, but no chocolate candy at all. Uh what?)

Anyway, behold! The 2 pumpkins I bought. Why are they so small, you ask. Because that's what I found at the vegetable market. Actually, I have NEVER encountered a pumpkin in China which is anything like an ideal size for a jack-o-lantern. The biggest ones I've seen are about the width of a dinner plate and have a height of maybe 6 inches. (And all have the same short/fat shape.) I tell people that to make a jack-o-lantern you want a pumpkin that's definitely bigger than a basketball and they're shocked that a pumpkin that big could exist.

So, the pumpkins are small but it's okay! As an American, I never imagined using a pumpkin this small for a jack-o-lantern, but guess what, it still works! Here's my Harry Potter pumpkin:

My boyfriend made a cat jack-o-lantern. Pretty good for someone who's never made one before:

I didn't have any candles, so my boyfriend used the flashlight from his phone:

Happy Halloween! 万圣节快乐!

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