For this we also have the Celts to thank. However, back in the day it wasn’t pumpkins that would be etched with creepy faces, but turnips, a smaller/ harder to carve vegetable, which was used to ward off evil spirits. They were often used as lanterns to guide Guisers on Halloween. The tradition does, however, have several variations in folklore. The oddest one being an Irish folklore, which tells the story of a man, Stingy Jack, who used a cross to trap satan, and only agrees to let him go if Satan promises to never take his soul, which Satan agrees to. When Jack died, he was deemed full of sin and refused a place in heaven during Purgatory, but Satan keeping his word meant that Jack could never get into hell. Satan then mocked Jack, who was left without life, by giving him an ember of the flames from Hades, which Jack placed inside a turnip he’d carved.  This bought him the name ‘Jack of the Lantern’ which has turned into our modern day Jack O’ Lanterns aka carved pumpkins. Who Knew?

Aimee Costa


Header image: http://www.bandofcats.com/105-amazing-cat-pumpkin-carvings-and-art/