One night every October people celebrate Halloween by dressing in costumes, trick-or-treating and cutting pumpkins into Jack-o-lanterns. Where did these customs come from?
An old Irish legend tells a story of a man named, Stingy Jack, who during his lifetime made several deals with the Devil. After Stingy Jack died he was not allowed into Heaven and the Devil did not accept him into Hell. Instead, the Devil condemned Stingy Jack to roam the earth for all eternity. To help him see at night the Devil gave him a burning coal which he carried in a carved out turnip.
Some believe this is how the tradition of the Jack-o-lantern came about.
The costumes that we wear are said to be traditions used during the Celtic festival called, Samhain, and the Christian holiday, All Souls Day. Long ago, people believed that the spirits of the dead walked among the living during those holidays. This made people quite uncomfortable so they began to wear disguises to fool the spirits in hopes that they would be left alone.
So as you cut out your pumpkin and prepare your costume be on the look-out for Stingy Jack and other spirits!
Posted by: Miss Rosemarie