Great Pumpkin Sacrifice

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First occurrence: 31 October 1973
Harrison House, (after 1962). PR; Series 1; Sub-series 4; Item 6552.

Origins: Two members of Harrison House threw a pumpkin off the roof of the residence on Hallowe'en night.

History: After modest beginnings in 1973, the ceremony accumulated such additions as clerical robes and Gregorian chants piped into the area between Harrison House and the SUB, as well as prayers for the harvest. The pumpkin itself is carved in the face of the two faced Roman god Janus to represent the "academic" harvest and the possibility for a good or bad crop. During the week prior to Hallowe'en, house residents mark the upcoming event with a two minute howl at midnight every night and decorate the UNB Fredericton campus with pumpkins. On October 31 the house is silent in respect of the occasion and the upcoming event. That night, the Great Pumpkin is escorted from Harrison House to the Dunn/Tibbits Hall/Kidd complex by house residents, actors, and "wise-people." The pumpkin is then blessed in the courtyard of Joy Kidd House and returned back to Harrison, where it is carried up the roof and sacrificially dropped and subsequently explodes.

Source(s):

  • UA Case 128; Section 2; File 10.


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