Pumpkins are a huge part of the Halloween tradition but did you ever stop and think why? Why do we carve a face into a vegetable and leave it outside our front doors? It's crazy stuff when you genuinely think about it. After last weeks post on the history of Halloween I decided another history post was due and since the history of the Jack O'Lanterns are beyond interesting I'm going to explain everything I know regarding the Legend of Stingy Jack.
The history of the Jack O'Lantern comes from Ireland where there was a mean and stingy man named Jack, he was a smart but very lazy man he drank all the time but his favourite hobby was playing tricks on people. One night Jack convinced the devil to come and have a drink with him and when it came to Jack's round he tricked the devil into turning himself into a coin to pay for the drinks.
Instead of paying for the drinks Jack decided to keep the coin and the devil could not change back, the devil made a promise to Jack that he would not bother him for one year and when Jack died he would not claim his soul, Jack agreed to this and allowed the devil to turn back into himself.
A year later the devil came to Jack looking for his revenge on Jack but the trickster that Jack was convinced the devil to climb a tree to get a piece of fruit. When the devil was high up in the tree Jack put a cross on the tree so the devil couldn't come down.
Jack made the devil promise to leave Jack alone and never bother him again, the devil promised to leave him alone and to not claim his soul and he was allowed down out of the tree.
It wasn't long after this that Jack died and he was turned away at the gates of heaven, having lived such a mean and stingy life God turned him away. He then decided he would visit the devil in hell and the devil stuck to his word and refused to claim his soul.
With Jack being denied access to heaven and hell the devil felt bad for Jack and threw him a piece of burning coal to light his way.
Jack carved out a turnip and placed his coal into the hollowed turnip and he was sent back to earth to wander around with only the turnip for light this is how he got the name Jack Of The Lantern.
It was when the Irish fled the potato famine they discovered that pumpkins were much easier to carve than turnips and made much nicer Jack O'Lanterns it wasn't long until the name got changed from Jack Of The Lantern to Jack O'Lanterns and Jacks ghost is said to still haunt the earth to this day.
And there you have the history of the Jack O'Lantern 🎃👻