Sunday, October 26, 2008


Do you know where the origin of Halloween pumpkins or known to some as 'jack-o-lanterns' came from? Legend would have it that a miserable man named Stingy Jack who was a drunk, and known for his love of playing tricks on people, ran into the Devil, himself one night while out and about. Stingy Jack decided he was going to play a trick on the Devil. He offered his soul to the Devil if he would have one last drink with him. The Devil, falling for Jack's antics, turned himself into a silver coin to pay the bartender. Stingy Jack snatched up the coin as quick as he could and deposited in his pocket next to a silver cross he was carrying. The Devil was unable to change himself back and Jack refused to allow the Devil to go free until the Devil promised not to claim Stingy Jack's soul for ten years.

The Devil agreed and ten years went by. One day Stingy Jack came across the Devil once more while walking down a country road. The Devil tried to claim Jack's soul. But before he could do so, Stingy Jack decided he would trick the Devil again. He asked the Devil to grab an apple for him from a nearby tree. The Devil obliged and jumped up into the tree to retrieve an apple for Jack. Before the Devil knew it, Jack had placed crosses all around the trunk of the tree, trapping the Devil so he could not get down. This time Stingy Jack made the Devil promise he would not take Jack's soul when he died. The Devil seeing no way out of his predicament made Jack a promise he would not take his soul.

The day finally came and Stingy Jack died. When he got to Heaven, he was not allowed to enter because he spent his life drinking, was stingy with his money and was constantly deceitful. So he went to the Devil's house but was refused entrance there too. The Devil would not allow him to enter in keeping his promise he'd made to Stingy Jack some years earlier. The Devil told Jack to go back to where he came from. Stingy Jack pleaded with the Devil to provide him a light so he could find his way in the darkness. The Devil tossed Stingy Jack an ember from his place of residence. Jack placed the light inside a hollowed out turnip that he carried around with him.

From that day forward, Stingy Jack has been resigned to a life of roaming the Earth carrying his hollowed out turnip with the light inside.

**The idea of incorporating carved pumpkins originated when Irish immigrants brought with them a tradition of carving out turnips when they migrated to America in the early 1800's. They would place coals or a small candle inside and place them on their doorsteps on Halloween to ward off evil spirits. It didn't take long for the Irish immigrants to realize that jack-o-lanterns could be carved much easier out of pumpkins as they were rich and plentiful in the New World. Turnips and rutabegas tended to be more scare. It didn't take long and the practice spread all throughout America. The jack-o-lantern is the most well known symbol of Halloween today.

The broom is now ready for its annual flight. Now I must go prepare my jack-o-lantern and summons Stingy Jack for a little help!

Until next time....(mu-wa-ha-ha-ha)....BOO!! Broom Hilda a.k.a. Delta Dawn

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