Our Jack ‘O Lantern Is Old
Yes, indeed, Halloween Jack or Jack ‘o Lantern as we have come to know the carving art, began in the far distant past with Druids and Celts. They celebrated our present spook day each October in honor of “Jack.”
Carving originally began with an Irish myth surrounding a man who had been nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the ancient tale Stingy Jack invited the Devil in for a toast. Living down to his name, Stingy Jack refused to pay for the booze and convinced the Devil to turn itself into a coin so Jack could use it to buy their liquor.
As soon as the Devil complied, Jack changed his mind. He added the coin to a pocket which contained a silver cross that prevented the Devil from re-emerging back to original form. Later Jack released the Devil after getting an agreement the Devil would not haunt Jack for a year and that if Jack were to die, the Devil would not claim Jack’s soul.
A year later Jack once more tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. When the Devil was up there carved a sign of a cross into the tree’s truck so the Devil couldn’t get back down without promising Jack not to bother him for a the following ten years.
Then Jack died. Legend states that God wouldn’t let an unsavory character like Jack into heaven. Disturbed by Jack’s trickery the Devil refused to open Hell’s gate. With past agreement not to claim Jacks’ soul the Devil banished Jack off into the dark of early winter night allowing him to carry only burning coal in a hollowed turnip to show the way. Jack and his lantern have been wandering Earth from that day to this day. Thus the Irish began ghostly references to an eerie figure which came to be known as “Jack of the Lantern,” or today just “Jack O’Lantern.”
Your Sexless Pumpkin Was A Turnip
Who’d have thought our beloved Pumpkin carving began with a totally different food. Early pumpkin carving, now part of modern American Halloween tradition each October has transformed over time from putting a face on vegetables, turnips, potatoes and beets, to today decorating fruit.
“Pumpkin” originates from the word pepon, Greek for “large melon.” Then the French adapted it as pompon before the British changed to pumpion and later American colonists began pronouncing what we have today, “pumpkin.” Pumpkin is a member of the gourd family, a squash-like fruit. They grow in all different shapes and sizes, some weighing less than one pound, some more than 1,000.
Many squash share early interchangeable gender beginning as a flower neither male nor female. They grow on stems, their bodies more flared where they are attached to their stems.
After being removed, carved with a light inside they tend to deteriorate fairly quickly however there’s plenty of Jack O’ Lanterns on Amazon.com for you to enjoy long after Halloween and some years to come.