Last year about this time we posted a list of sites where you can find out about the origins of Halloween, stemming from the Irish festival of Samhain, or the Feast of the Dead. So we thought it would be an interesting idea to find an explanation for some of the traditions from an Irish perspective – Ireland Information.Com has a special page dedicated to Halloween, including information about Colcannon, Barnbrack Cake and the ever-popular Jack O’Lantern:
The Pumpkin: Carving Pumpkins dates back to the eighteenth century and to an Irish blacksmith named Jack who colluded with the Devil and was denied entry to Heaven. He was condemned to wander the earth but asked the Devil for some light. He was given a burning coal ember which he placed inside a turnip that he had gouged out.
The tradition of Jack O’Lanterns was born – the bearer being the wandering blacksmith – a damned soul. Villagers in Ireland hoped that the lantern in their window would keep the wanderer away. When the Irish emigrated in millions to America there was not a great supply of turnips so pumpkins were used instead.
And if you’ve ever wondered what it feels like to be a pumpkin (and let’s be honest, who hasn’t?), then you’ll like this short film, The Life and Death of a Pumpkin, winner of Best Short Film and Best Concept at the 2006 Chicago Horror Film Festival.
Strange Random Pumpkin Quote:
“Men are like pumpkins. It seems like all the good ones are either taken or they’ve had everything scraped out of their heads with a spoon.” – Unknown
- Keep that wolf at the door with Halloween recipes – Halloweek part 2 (exitlanguages.wordpress.com)
- Get that Zombie look – Halloweek part 1 (exitlanguages.wordpress.com)
- “The Story of the Jack O Lantern and Sweet Pumpkin Suncatcher” and related posts (lettersnumbersandbooksohmy.blogspot.com)
- “Halloween Pumpkin Carving” and related posts (blogs.smarter.com)
- Carve Those Pumpkins: Our 10 Favorite Halloween Jack-o’-Lanterns (blisstree.com)
- How-To: Carve a Turnip-O-Lantern (craftzine.com)
- Its Time to Get A-carving, Halloween is Almost Here! (socyberty.com)