Sunday, October 31, 2021

Origin of The Jack O' Lantern, and "What's a Turnip Got to Do With It?"

Did you know why we carve pumpkins for Halloween, and why they are called Jack O' Lanterns?

Well, it turns out that the tradition comes from old Irish folklore about some trickster name Jack, and the original lanterns were carved from a turnip (or a potato, or the nearest root vegetable.) 

When Irish immigrants came to America, they brought the tradition along while rejoicing in the more easily carved indigenous fruit - the pumpkin!

Added bonus, yummy seeds for midnight snacking...

The original jack o' lanterns bear little resemblance to some of the amazing sculptures found these days. (Pumpkin sculpture by Ray Villafane. )

More details can be found by visiting these links:

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