A jack-o'-lantern is a carved pumpkin, or turnip,
associated with the holiday of Halloween and named after the phenomenon
of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o'-the-wisp
or jack-o'-lantern. In a jack-o'-lantern, the top is cut off to
form a lid and the inside flesh then scooped out; an image,
usually a monstrous or comical face, is carved out of the
pumpkin's rind to expose the hollow interior. To create the
lantern effect, a light source (such as a candle or tea light)
is placed within before the lid is closed. This is traditionally
a flame or electric candle, though pumpkin lights featuring various
colors and flickering effects are also marketed specifically for
this purpose. It is common to see jack-o'-lanterns on doorsteps and
otherwise used as decorations prior to and during Halloween.
Sections of the pumpkin are cut out to make holes, often
depicting a face, which may be either cheerful, scary, or comical.
More complex carvings are becoming more commonly seen. Popular figures,
symbols, and logos are some that can now be seen used on pumpkins.
A variety of tools can be used to carve and hollow out the gourd,
ranging from simple knives and spoons to specialized instruments,
typically sold in holiday sections of North American grocery stores.
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