• Listen to ShowShow

    Visit showshow.podomatic.com or check us out in the iTunes store!!!
  • Categories

Pumpky Brewster

As you prepare to carve your plump orange friend this year, here’s a little back story courtesy of Mental Floss:

Making vegetable lanterns can be traced back to the British Isles, where carving turnips, beets and potatoes had been a Fall tradition for many centuries. According to an Irish myth, a man named Stingy Jack once had a drink with the devil and, when he didn’t want to pay for it, convinced the Devil to turn into a coin. However, Stingy Jack lived up to his name and pocketed the coin next to a cross, keeping the devil locked in a monetary state until he struck a deal with Jack to leave him alone and not claim his soul for Hell upon his death. When Jack did die, Heaven rejected him and – true to his word – so did the Devil.

As punishment for his trickery, the Devil sent Jack out to wander the earth forever with a single coal in a hollowed-out turnip to light his way. To Irish children he was Jack of the Lantern or, as the Irish are wont to do when confronted with an “of the,” Jack O’Lantern.

But Jack-o-Lanterns were not a part of Halloween celebrations in Britain; it would take a new continent to cement that tradition. The first mention of a Jack-o-Lantern being part of a Halloween celebration comes from a Canadian paper which, in 1866, wrote, “The old time custom of keeping up Hallowe’en was not forgotten last night by the youngsters of the city. They had their maskings and their merry-makings, and perambulated the streets after dark in a way which was no doubt amusing to themselves. There was a great sacrifice of pumpkins from which to make transparent heads and face, lighted up by the unfailing two inches of tallow candle.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: