“Double, double toil and trouble; fire burn and cauldron bubble.”
Pumpkins designed in ghoulish face expressions, lit with beautiful candlelights, is a sign of Halloween night. It is one of the most common and prevalent practices named jack-o-lanterns initiated from Ireland.
What is Halloween?
Halloween is a night celebration observed on 31st October. It is considered as the eve of All Saints’ Day. Here, everyone dresses up in scary costumes and face masks throughout the night. The tradition of celebrating Halloween started with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain.
Earlier, people celebrated this festival with bonfires and scary costumes to ward off the evils and ghosts around their homes.
The trend of carving pumpkins –
People have been carving pumpkins and lighting them beautifully for decades to celebrate Halloween at its best. But do you know the purpose behind it? Besides pumpkins, people serve potatoes and turnips as canvases. Talking about pumpkins, an old ritual was taken from the Irish where a man named Stingy Jack started it. Later on, the Irish immigrants carried this tradition to America and made it the home of pumpkins in no time. And presently, it has become an inevitable part of the Halloween traditions.
The Untold Saga of Stingy Jack –
Making and decorating jack-o-lanterns at Halloween is a common tradition that has continued for centuries. As per the ancient story, Stingy Jack invited a devil to enjoy drinks with him but with the intention of not paying for the same. To this, Jack somehow convinced the devil to turn himself into a coin so that he can use it to pay for the drinks.
Now, as soon as the devil converted himself into a coin, Jack made up his mind to keep it in his pocket till a silver cross, which eliminated the chances of the devil coming back to his original form. Later, Jack used his powers and freed the devil because he will not bother him for at least a year. And if he (Jack) dies, the devil will not claim his soul in any manner.
Again, Jack tricked the devil next year to free his soul from the devil. This time, Jack climbed to a tree to pick fruits. While Jack was up on the tree, he carved a cross sign on the tree’s bark so that the devil could not bother him anymore.
Soon after this, Jack died after four years, and the Almighty did not allow him to go to heaven as he tricked another person with wrong intentions. Further, even the devil did not allow Jack’s soul to enter hell as he tricked him. Henceforth, the carved pumpkins have been used as one of the Halloween tools and symbols to keep an evil soul like Jack away from them. The Irish started this culture of referring to Jack as a ghostly figure to get rid of every year.
Summing up –
Halloween is a much-awaited celebration time that comes with a lot of excitement and madness. Regardless of age and gender, everyone celebrates Halloween while decorating jack-o-lanterns. The tradition is ancient and exciting to continue for decades to come.