Sunday, October 18, 2009

^^History of the Jack O' Lantern^^

This is based on an old Irish legend about the drunk, Jack. One day he was out in the woods and tricked Satan into a tree to throw down some fruit. Once Satan had helped him he carved a cross into the tree and trapped him there. He then struck a deal that Satan would leave his soul alone when he died. This backfired when he died since heaven would not take him either. When he kept bothering the Devil to let him in the Devil gave him a burning ember instead. He carried the ember in a hollowed out turnip (sometimes described as rotton) to light his way as he wandered through eternal darkness on the earth. Eventually this was replaced with the pumpkin in America and became the modern Jack-o-Lantern

According to Rees & Rees, the folks who were abroad in the night imitating the fairies would some- times carry turnips carved to represent faces. This is the origin of our modern Jack-o-lantern. It became popular as house decorations in the United States after immigrant Irish discovered how much easier pumpkins were to carve than turnips, unleashing what has turned into quite an art form in the last decade or so. This later assumed a spooky touch, especially when the glowing faces appear from the darkness.

Happy Halloween, Tammy