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Halloween Origins

Journal Entry: Wed Oct 30, 2013, 8:08 PM

The Jack-o'-lantern tradition is linked to an old folktale from Ireland about a man named Stingy Jack and his dealing with the Devil. There are numerous variations of the Irish tale, but they all end the same.

Stingy Jack was a wicked prankster and an old drunk who enjoyed playing tricks on everyone and anyone including his family, friends and even the Devil himself. One dark night, Jack was drinking in a local public house and there he met the Devil. Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him.

Not wanting to use his own money to pay for the drinks, Jack convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin to cover the costó in exchange for Jack's soul. The Devil agreed and transformed himself, but instead of paying for the drinks, Jack slipped the coin into his pocket next to a silver cross he always carried. The cross prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack would only free the Devil under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die in that year, the Devil would not claim his soul. The Devil agreed and Jack let him free.

The year passed and Jack, while out walking on a country road, found the Devil waiting for him. The Devil said he had come for Jack's soul. But Jack convinced the Devil to climb into a nearby apple tree and pick Jack the choicest apple before taking his soul. The Devil agreed and while he was up in the tree, Jack carved the sign of the cross into the tree's bark. The Devil could not climb out of the tree. Jack would not remove the sign until the Devil promised not to bother him for 10 years and that, should Jack die in that time, the Devil would not claim his soul. The Devil grudgingly agreed and Jack let him free.

Soon after, Jack did die. But when he went to heaven, God barred him from entering because of his wicked ways so Jack journeyed down to the gates of hell.

But the Devil remembered Jack's trickery, kept his promise not to claim Jack's soul and would not allow Jack into hell. Instead he sent Jack away into the darkness with only an ember of hellfire to light his way. Jack carved out a turnip to carry the ember and is doomed to wander the earth for all eternity.

The Irish referred to Jack's ghost as "Jack of the Lantern," which over time became "Jack-o'-lantern." In Ireland and Scotland, people carved their version of Jack's lantern out of turnips or potatoes. In England, large beets were used. The lanterns were carved with scary faces and placed into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack's ghost and other wandering evil spirits. In the 1800s, large numbers of Irish immigrated to North America. They found pumpkins, a common native fruit, bigger and softer to carve than turnips or potatoes, so pumpkins became the new Jack-o'-lanterns at Halloween.

Others-interior-awesome-jack-o-lantern-cool-pu by MrEyeCandy66

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:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Nov 10, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This is cool :XD: I didn't know it :aww: thank you!!! :huggle:
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:iconmreyecandy66:
MrEyeCandy66 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Your a little late on reading this :roll: I know I know you have many followers. I understand :hug:
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:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:blush: ... :giggle: ... No, no, I'm just a "slow reader" Robby :iconhurrplz:
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:iconmreyecandy66:
MrEyeCandy66 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
mmm hmmm :stare:
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:iconthegalleryofeve:
TheGalleryOfEve Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:iconteheplz:
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:iconlulupoo:
LuLupoo Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013
Very enjoyable story Rob. :aww: Thank you for sharing it. Was amusing. Love the pumpkins.
Happy Halloween friend 
Felloween :brew: 
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:iconmreyecandy66:
MrEyeCandy66 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Hey Thanks Lucy Happy Halloween to you too. its raining here so no spooks running around doped up on sugar :giggle:
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:iconlulupoo:
LuLupoo Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013
:aww: Your very welcome Rob. Its trying to rain here 
so I guess no spooks here either. It doesn't even feel
like Halloween. Jersey is so boring I didnt even see one
person with a costume here. These people dont know anything
about celebrating or having any kind of fun on Halloween.
New York is a whole different story. 
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:icondreamysilver:
DreamySilver Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I made Jack-O-lanterns when I was young too:giggle:
I put it infront of my house,and a squirrel ate it:lmao:
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:iconmreyecandy66:
MrEyeCandy66 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Whaaaat? :giggle: really? I didnt know they liked pumpkins?? :-? 
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:icondreamysilver:
DreamySilver Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I think they love pumpkins:lmao:
My Jack-O-Lantern turned into a real horror because of that squirrel:XD:
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:iconmreyecandy66:
MrEyeCandy66 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
haha :lol:
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:iconpevansy:
Pevansy Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Great story! When I was but a lad, we too used to carve turnips, not the easiest job in the world, (but they make better carving than eating) pumpkins were too hard to get or probably expensive. We are all carving pumpkins these days however. =D.

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:iconmreyecandy66:
MrEyeCandy66 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
You know Paul I could kick myself a week or so ago when i asked if your celebrated Halloween where you live and then learned it originated there..insert foot in mouth :D :stupidme: Cool im glad you switched... turnips have to have been a pain? :)
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:iconpevansy:
Pevansy Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ha Ha, I haven't carved a turnip for a long time - pumpkins from here on!
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:iconmoonlitlady:
MoonlitLady Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There is also a connection to common fae mythos that a certain type of fae that live in swamps float around swamps at night as balls of light tricking people off of their path and into the swamp at night. Its one of those dual purpose myths, considering the fae myth predates jack and it was something cooked up by the English and Irish who practically worship all sorts of fae.
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:iconmreyecandy66:
MrEyeCandy66 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Yeah i must have read a half dozen versions. Kind of amazing how it develops. The kids used to vandalize on the 31st and called it Hell Night and to keep the children occupied they started the whole candy and costume thing. Theres still no excuse for the assholes who throw pennies in with your candy filled pillowcase. :wtf:
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:iconmoonlitlady:
MoonlitLady Featured By Owner Nov 1, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Well in England they have the big 3, Guy Fawkes night, Halloween, and May day. Fire vandalism and rampant sex. Good to know nothings changed since Stonehenge!
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:iconsheenaberesford:
SheenaBeresford Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I remember carving swedes when I was younger ( the veg not ikea staff) now pumpkins, just off to do mine now 👹
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:iconmreyecandy66:
MrEyeCandy66 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ikea staff...:lol: hahaha. 
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