Denmark piles up pumpkin production for scarier Halloween

Pumpkins grown on a field in Denmark. The tradition of carving a Jack O' Lantern at Halloween appears to be gaining popularity in the Nordic country.
Pumpkins grown on a field in Denmark. The tradition of carving a Jack O' Lantern at Halloween appears to be gaining popularity in the Nordic country. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix
The chances of using a Danish-produced pumpkin to give your Halloween decorations a jump are higher this year than ever before.

That is because the total agricultural area used for Halloween production is 20 percent higher this year than it was in 2020, according to figures released on Monday by the Danish Agricultural Agency (Landbrugsstyrelsen).

“For all types of pumpkin there has been a marked increase since 2015 and the trend this year has taken a solid hop for the fright-spreading types,” said Peter Dyrial Dalsgaard, team leader with the agency.

“So the chances of meeting a pumpkin man from a Danish field are really high this year,” Dalsgaard added.

The agency states that the total area used for pumpkin production in Denmark is 387 hectares, the equivalent of around 542 football pitches.

This is a 65 percent increase since 2015, which may be a reflection of the growing popularity of the US custom in Denmark.

READ ALSO: How Halloween scared off Fastelavn to become Denmark’s favourite fancy dress day

The island of Samsø, known for its high quality organic vegetables, is one of the most prolific pumpkin-producing locations in the country.

“Some place in Denmark have a strong tradition for vegetable crops,” Dalsgaard said.

“One thing we know is that Samsø produces a lot of vegetables and there’s also a large production of pumpkins on precisely Samsø,” he continued.

The species of pumpkin which is preferred for Halloween Jack O’ Lanterns saw a 10 percent increase in agricultural area between 2020 and 2021.

Other types which are generally bought for cooking purposes have also seen an increase in popularity.

“Our numbers unfortunately don’t show which pumpkins are eaten and which are used to spread scariness,” Dalsgaard said.

Halloween is also known in Danish as Allehelgensaften or All Saints’ Eve.


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