The Jack-O-Lantern & Its Association With Halloween!
Did you ever wonder why we carve pumpkins on Halloween? Well, it all came from Ireland. It's a long story, so follow me if you can. Old Irish legend says that a man named Jack drank too much booze at a local bar on All Hallow's Eve. As he made his way home, stumbling down the streets, the Devil demanded that Jack comes to hell with him because of the way Jack conducts himself. So....Jack agreed to go, but only if the Devil would pick him an apple off of a nearby apple tree. As the Devil proceeded to climb the tree, Jack carved a cross in the tree, which prevented the devil from getting down. At this point the Devil is fuming...he demands that Jack let him down. Jack did, but first made the Devil promise that he wouldn't claim his soul when he died.
One year later on All Hallow's Eve, Jack died from too much drinking! He was not allowed into heaven because of the way he lived his life and he was not permitted into hell because of the promise that was made. What the devil did for Jack was give him a lighted piece of coal to help him find his final resting place. At the time, Jack was eating a turnip. He placed the coal in the turnip and used it as a lantern. Jack still has not found his resting place and is still supposedly wandering around the world.
*The Irish used to carve lanterns out of potatoes and turnips. The didn't use pumpkins until Irish immigrants came to the U.S.*