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An Historical Account of the Origins of Pumpkintide

Posted in Life

A field of pumpkins

It’s that time of year again, friends. Pumpkintide has returned!

From Blue to Orange (Go Gators!)

When I was a kid, dark blue was my favorite color. Sometime during my teens, however, my taste began to shift. Dark orange became my favorite color.

Hello, my name is Peeta Mellark.

Now, I’ve always loved pumpkin pie. The Thanksgiving-to-Christmas stretch is my favorite time of year. But sometime during grad school I began noticing pumpkin-other-things even before Thanksgiving. I think pumpkin muffins or scones at Starbucks was first, for me. I thought it was genius, and started getting pumpkin-whatevers whenever I had the chance.

The Need for Pumpkintide

Then someone explained to me that what I was really after was the spices used in pumpkin pie. And that was when pumpkin spice coffee appeared. You guys. Pumpkin spice coffee.

Side note: I strongly suspect there is something neurologically mood-boosting (like bananas) about one or more of the spices that go into normal “pumpkin spice.” Cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, whatever. I think that might explain why I like it so much. People like me love the fall but have a difficult time with the days getting shorter and shorter — so we need the assistance.

I realized that if I let myself, I’d eat nothing but pumpkin pastries and drink nothing but pumpkin spice lattes year round. And that would kind of ruin the special fall-ness of it. So, I had to set boundaries to my pumpkin-related consumption. Thus was born Pumpkintide.

The Borders of Pumpkintide

Pumpkintide is the season centered around the four holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Thus, it begins with the month to which Halloween belongs, and ends with New Year’s.

Pumpkintide’s Official Dates

October 1 through January 1 (inclusive)

It has been argued that if Pumpkintide includes Christmas, it ought to extend through Epiphany. After all, in the church’s liturgical calendar, Christmas doesn’t end till Epiphany.

Liturgical Pumpkintide

October 1 through January 6 (inclusive)

In any event, I am not allowed to eat pumpkin-based or -flavored-anything outside of those dates. Except pumpkin seeds, because those don’t taste anything like pumpkin, or pumpkin spice.

If you, like me, observe Pumpkintide, then Joyeux Pumpkintide to you and yours!


Featured image by Annca.

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