CAROLYN'S COMPOSITIONS

October 9, 2014

11 Facts About Hallow’een & Jack-O-Lanterns


CAROLYN’S COMPOSITIONS

11 FACTS ABOUT HALLOW’EEN AND JACK-O-LANTERNS

First, find the perfect pumpkin...

First, find the perfect pumpkin…

  1. How were Jack-O-Lanterns made in the British Isles?
  2. Immigrants from what country brought the Jack-O-Lantern tradition to America?
  3. Who was Stingy Jack?
  4. The Guinness World Record for the most simultaneously lit Jack-O-Lanterns occurred in 2011 in ____________ and included ________ carved pumpkins?
  5. What was the medieval tradition of souling?
  6. How were Jack-O-Lanterns made in the British Isles?
  7. What various names have Jack-O-Lanterns been called?
  8. When did Jack-O-Lanterns change from being just a trick to being a seasonal decorating standard?
  9. What was the medieval tradition of souling?
  10. What popular comic strip can be credited with the popular spread of trick or treating as we know it nationwide today?

BONUS QUESTION

What is behind the Jack O’Lantern legend featuring a man named Stingy Jack?

Second, carve that pumpkin...

Second, carve that pumpkin…

To learn the answers click on MORE

Third, display the finished  product for all to see.

Third, display the finished product for all to see.

ANSWERS

  1. They were carved-out turnips, beets, and potatoes and stuffed with coal, wood embers, or candles and used as impromptu lanterns to celebrate the fall harvest.****
  2. Ireland*
  3. A miserable, old drunk who liked to play tricks on everyone: family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself.
  4. Highwood, Illinois with 30,919 simultaneously lit Jack-O-Lanterns.^^^^
  5. A practice in which beggars went door to door on October 31 to pray for souls in return for food.^^^^
  6.  They were carved-out turnips, beets, and potatoes and stuffed with coal, wood embers, or candles to make impromptu lanterns to celebrate the fall harvest.****
  7. Ghost lights, hinkypunks, hobby lanterns, corpse candles, fairy lights, will-o’-the-wisps, and fool’s fire.^^^
  8. Towards the end of the 19th century—partially due to a high-profile 1892 Halloween party hosted by the mayor of Atlanta. In one of the earliest instances of the jack-o’-lantern as Halloween decor, the mayor’s wife had several pumpkins—lit from within and carved with faces—placed around the party, ending Jack O’Lantern’s days of wandering, and starting his yearly reign over America’s windowsills and front porches.^^^
  9. A practice in which beggars went door to door on October 31 to pray for souls in return for food.^^^^
  10. A 1951 Peanuts comic strip—So dress up as Snoopy if you want to be historically accurate.^^^^

BONUS QUESTION ANSWER:

As the story goes, Stingy Jack was a miserable, old drunk who liked to play tricks on everyone: family, friends, his mother and even the Devil himself.

One day, he tricked the Devil into climbing up an apple tree. Once the Devil climbed up the apple tree, Stingy Jack hurriedly placed crosses around the trunk of the tree. The Devil was then unable to get down the tree. Stingy Jack made the Devil promise him not to take his soul when he died. Once the devil promised not to take his soul, Stingy Jack removed the crosses and let the Devil down.

Many years later, when Jack finally died, he went to the pearly gates of Heaven and was told by Saint Peter that he was too mean and too cruel and had led a miserable and worthless life on earth. He was not allowed to enter heaven. He then went down to Hell and the Devil. The Devil kept his promise and would not allow him to enter Hell. Now Jack was scared and had nowhere to go but to wander about forever in the darkness between heaven and hell. He asked the Devil how he could leave as there was no light. The Devil tossed him an ember from the flames of Hell to help him light his way. Jack placed the ember in a hollowed out Turnip, one of his favorite foods which he always carried around with him whenever he could steal one. For that day onward, Stingy Jack roamed the earth without a resting place, lighting his way as he went with his “Jack O’Lantern”.

On all Hallow’s eve, the Irish hollowed out Turnips, rutabagas, gourds, potatoes and beets. They placed a light in them to ward off evil spirits and keep Stingy Jack away. These were the original Jack O’Lanterns. In the 1800’s a couple of waves of Irish*

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3 Comments »

  1. Very interesting, Carolyn! Thanks! Marjorie

    Comment by Marjorie DeAngelis — October 9, 2014 @ 9:12 pm | Reply

  2. Good seasonal story – still wondering about the California trip !

    Comment by Grace (&Fred) — October 10, 2014 @ 9:02 am | Reply

  3. Carolyn, Hello. Interesting story of how our holidays evolve. 🙂

    Comment by merry101 — October 10, 2014 @ 8:17 pm | Reply


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