Halloween – Jack O' Lanterns Origin

Jack o lanternJack O’Lanterns come from Irish folklore. As the story goes, there was once a trickster named Jack. One day he tricked the Devil into climbing up a tree to pick some fruit. While the Devil was in the tree, Jack carved a symbol of the cross into the bark, and the Devil could not come down. Jack made the Devil promise to not temp him or take his soul when he died before he would let the Devil down (because the Devil always keeps his promises).

Eventually, Jack died, but God wouldn’t allow the soul of such a bad man into heaven, and the Devil couldn’t let him into hell. Instead, the Devil gave him a burning ember which Jack put into a hallowed out turnip to guide his way in the darkness. This gave him the name Jack of the Lantern, and later just Jack O’Lantern.

Irish people would put scary faces into hallowed turnips to try to frighten away the spirit of Jack and any other lost souls during Halloween. When Irish settlers came to America they found that Pumpkins made for even better jack o’lanterns and used them instead.

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