Every year, as Halloween draws near, carved pumpkins, also known as “jack-o’-lanterns,” start to appear on front doorways all over the world. When it gets dark, you’ll see that many of them have candles inside that are lighting them up, providing them with a spooky glow that signals the impending Halloween season. In spite of the fact that millions of people carve pumpkins every fall, few people are aware of the origins of this custom. We can actually thank an Irish folktale about a guy named Jack for this.
According to legend, the Jack-O-Lantern is based on an Irish history legend that dates back hundreds of years. A miserable old drunk called Stingy Jack is said to have tricked the Devil into ascending an apple tree. Stingy Jack enjoyed pulling practical jokes on his family, friends, as well as the Devil. In order to prevent the Devil from climbing down the apple tree, Stingy Jack placed crosses around its trunk. However, he struck a deal with the Devil, agreeing to release the crosses and allow the Devil to descend if the latter agreed not to steal Stingy Jack’s soul upon his death.
When Jack passed away, Saint Peter informed him at the shiny white gates of Heaven that he was unkind and mean and had lived a miserable and pointless life, and therefore he couldn’t enter Heaven. Stingy Jack then descended into Hell, but the Devil refused to accept him. The ultimate retaliation! Jack had nowhere to go and was terrified as he walked around in the pitch-black space between Hell and Heaven.
Halloween is simple for All Hallows Eve, also known as the night before All Hallows, and is known as Hallow E’en in both Scotland and Ireland. In order to ward off Stingy Jack and evil spirits on All Hallows Eve, the Irish carved holes in turnips, rutabagas, gourds, potatoes, as well as beets and placed candles inside. When Irish immigrants arrived in America in the 1800s, they noticed that pumpkins were larger and fairly easy to carve. As a result, the pumpkin evolved into the Jack-o’-lantern.
You may also like: Best Theme Music Ideas for a Halloween Party
Now let’s take a look at some facts about Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween
Facts about Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween:
● A blacksmith by the name of Jack made a devil’s pact in the 18th century in Ireland, which condemned him to live out the rest of his days on Earth. He cried out to Lucifer, begging him to grant him lightly, for he was afraid of the darkness. One burning ember was provided to Jack, who placed it inside a turnip that had been hollowed out.
● Prayers are said after lighting the Jack O’Lantern because it is thought to reflect Christian souls in purgatory.
● In Somerset, England, during the 19th century, punkie night was a custom. Children would parade through the streets on the last Thursday in October carrying Jack-O-Lanterns and singing, “Give me a candle, give me a light, if you don’t have a candle a penny’s alright.”
● Local communities would start a bonfire during the paganic holiday of Samhain. Each family will take a coal from the fire and put it in a turnip, which they used to light the hearth when they got home as a form of protection during the gloomy winter months.
● In the 1600s, such a thing in England became known as Will o’ the Wisp. A “wisp” was a bundle of lit sticks used as a torch.
● While on the prowl for his next victim, The Dullahan, an Irish headless horseman, would hold his own glowing skull aloft as a Jack O’Lantern.
● The Jack O’Lantern was used in Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleepy Hollow in place of the horseman’s decapitated head. The headless rider vanishes forever after being encountered by Ichabod Crane, and only his hat and a broken pumpkin were discovered.
● The Limerick Chronicle of 1837 noted a pub in the city holding a contest for “the best crown of Jack McLantern,” which can be used to date the competitive carving custom back to the 19th century in Ireland.
● Homes in Celtic regions would light a Jack O’Lantern and place it in the window to cast light on any vampires or other nighttime ghouls.
We will be delighted to have your thoughts and feedback. Please write to us at [email protected]
Follow Life and Trendz on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lifeandtrendz_com/