How to Carve an Ik Onkar and Khanda Symbol Sikh Theme Jack-O-Lantern

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How to Carve a Sikhi Style Jack-O'-Lantern

Sikhi Stye Jack-O-Lanterns
Sikhi Stye Jack-O-Lanterns. Photo © [B. Lionberger]

How to Carve a Sikhism Theme Jack-O-Lantern with Ik Onkar and Khanda Symbol

Personalize October holidays with a Sikhism theme and celebrate fall with a Sikhi style Jack-O'-Lantern carved with Ik Onkar and Khanda symbols to enlighten long dark autumn evenings.

Jack-O-Lanterns date back centuries to the time of Celtic Druids, when they were used for harvest festivals, and pagan rites. During the rise of Christianity, and the Roman Catholic Church, Jack-O-Lanterns became associated with All Hallows Eve, now called Halloween. The holiday has evolved commercially into an occasion in which people dress in costumes and children "Trick or Treat," going door to door collecting candy after dark. Jack-O'-lanterns made from pumpkins, and even plastic, are popular props.

In the fall, mature vegetables such as turnips, gourds, and squash may be used to make lanterns. The traditional Jack-O'-Lantern is a pumpkin which has been cut open, hollowed out and carved into a lantern. A design is carved into the pumpkin shell. A candle is placed inside the carved pumpkin. The candlelight illuminates the Jack-O'-Lantern. During autumn when pumpkins are in season, a spiritual theme Jack-O'-Lantern carved with an Ik Onkar or Khanda symbol can be used as subtle lighting for any Sikhism event. The Khanda is especially appropriate when celebrating Bandi Chhor during Diwali, the Hindu festival of lamps.

Pumpkin Carving Kits

Votive Tealight Candle

Flameless Tealight Candle

02
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Before You Carve a Sikhi Style Jack-O'-Lantern

Jack-O-Lantern Pumkins, Carving Tools, and Candles
Jack-O-Lantern Pumpkins, Carving Tools and Candles. Photo © [S Khalsa]

What You Need Before You Carve a Sikh Theme Jack-O'-Lantern

To carve a Jack-O'-Lantern choose a mature pumpkin of any size that is large enough for the Ik Onkar or Khanda symbo you wish to carve. Before You carve a Sikh  theme Jack-O'-Lantern, you will need a pumpkin carving kit or:

  • A marker to sketch your design on the pumpkin.
  • A knife to carve the pumpkin.
  • A spoon to scrape the sides of the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds.
  • One or more bowls for seeds and scraps.
  • Candles to illuminate your design.

You may want to use newspapers or plastic sheeting to protect the surface you are working on.

Pumpkin Carving Kits

Votive Tealight Candle

Flameless Tealight Candle

03
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Sketch the Sikh Symbol Onto the Jack-O'-Lantern

Jack-O-Lantern With Sketch Of Sikh Symbol
Jack-O-Lantern With Sketch Of Sikh Symbol. Photo © [S Khalsa]

How to Sketch the Sikh Symbol Onto the Jack-O'-Lantern

Before you sketch the Sikh symbol of your choice on your pumpkin, practice on a piece of paper to make sure the size is correct.to fit on your carving surface.

To make a khanda like the one in the photograph on the right, trace a small kirpan. Use a glass or bottle to sketch the center circle. Be sure to leave a gap between the circle edges and center sword.

To make the Ik Onkar symbol it is necessary to leave a space on the inside of the lettering, as shown on the right.

Pumpkin Carving Kits

Votive Tealight Candle

Flameless Tealight Candle

04
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Cut a Top for the Sikh Theme Jack-O'-Lantern

Cut a Top for the Jack-O-Lantern
Cut a Top for the Jack-O-Lantern. Photo © [S Khalsa]

How to Cut a Top for the Sikh Theme Jack-O-Lantern

To cut out the top of the Jack-O-Lantern, sketch a circle, star, diamond shape, or other design of your choice. To cut a top that won't fall in the pumpkin when it is burning, it is important to make the cuts holding the knife, or pumpkin carving tool, at an angle in order to make horizontal slant slices as show. This way the lower pumpkin shell will support the top when the candle is lit.

Pumpkin Carving Kits

Votive Tealight Candle

Flameless Tealight Candle

05
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Remove the Top Of The Jack-O'-Lantern

Remove the Top Of the Jack-O'-Lantern
Remove the Top Of the Jack-O'-Lantern. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Gently Remove the Top Of The Jack-O-Lantern

To remove the top of the Jack-O-Lantern pull the stem gently. If the top does not loosen easily, check to make certain that all cuts have gone completely through the pumpkin shell. Scrape away any seeds and strings from the top and set it aside.

Pumpkin Carving Kits

Votive Tealight Candle

Flameless Tealight Candle

06
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Remove the Seeds From the Jack-O'-Lantern

Remove the Seeds From the Jack-O-Lantern
Remove the Seeds From the Jack-O-Lantern. Photo © [S Khalsa]

How to Remove the Seeds From the Jack-O-Lantern

To remove the seeds and strings from the pumpkin use the scraping a spoon tool included in your pumpkin carving kit. Continue scraping the sides of the pumpkin until it is free from strings. Take care not to smear your sketch. It may take 10 minutes or more. Work steadily with patience, and use the time required for this task to recite a favorite verse or prayer. You may find it effective to reverse the motion and direction of your spoon or scraping tool occasionally.

Pumpkin Carving Kits

Votive Tealight Candle

Flameless Tealight Candle

07
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Save the Seeds From the Sikh Theme Jack-O'-Lantern

Save the Seeds from the Jack-O-Lantern
Save the Seeds from the Jack-O-Lantern. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Set Aside Seeds From the Jack-O'-Lantern

Place the pumpkin seeds in a bowl. Cove the seeds and set them aside to save for later. You can roast them for a tasty snack after you finish carving your Sikh theme Jack-O'-Lantern.

Pumpkins Seeds Roasted With Curry Seasoning

Pumpkin Carving Kits

Votive Tealight Candle

Flameless Tealight Candle

08
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Carve Pumpkin and Place a Candle in the Jack-O'-Lantern

Jack-O-Lantern Ready to Light
Jack-O-Lantern Ready to Light. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Carve Sikh Theme into Pumpkin and Place a Candle in the Jack-O'-Lantern

To carve the hollowed out shell of the Jack-O'-Lantern, use a sharp knife with a think blade or a pumpkin carving tool. Carefully follow the lines you have sketched with the blade. You can save the bits of discarded pumpkin to use for cooking, baking, or in raw recipes later on if desired. When you have completely finished carving your design, place a small votive candle in the bottom of the pumpkin shell. A large candle may be smokey and blacken the inside of the pumpkin. Your Jack-O'-Lantern is likely to last longer if you use a small candle which produces very little heat.

Pumpkin Carving Kits

Votive Tealight Candle

Flameless Tealight Candle

09
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Light the Candle in the Sikh Theme Jack-O-Lantern

Light The Candle in the Jack-O-Lantern
Light The Candle in the Jack-O-Lantern. Photo © [S Khalsa]

Light Candles to Illuminate the Sikh Theme Jack-O-Lantern

To light the candle in your Jack-O-Lantern, be sure the wick is standing upright. Use a long wooden match, or other mechanical lighter. Once the flame is lit, put the top of the lantern in place. Alternately use a flameless votive LED tealight.

Pumpkin Carving Kits

Votive Tealight Candle

Flameless Tealight Candle

10
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Turn Off the Lights and Enjoy the Sikh Theme Jack-O'-Lanterns

Jack-O-Lantern In the Dark
Jack-O-Lantern In the Dark. Photo © [B. Lionberger]

Turn out the Lights and Enjoy the Illumination of the Sikh Theme Jack-O'-Lanterns

Enjoy your Sikh theme Jack-O-Lantern by turning the lights down low, so that you can see the glow emanating from the Ik Onkar and Khanda symbols you carved in the pumpkin. Light up the night and place your Jack-O'Lantern in a window, or on a porch to share it's illumination with your neighborhood.

Pumpkin Carving Kits

Votive Tealight Candle

Flameless Tealight Candle