A few words to wish you all a happy Halloween and explain the legend of Jack O’ Lantern at the origin of this party. Disney’s film “Mr Jack’s Strange Christmas” is largely inspired by this Irish account.
To summarize it, the main character is a very dark, nasty, drunk, but also stingy hero. He concentrated in him all the defects of the Earth. One evening of drinking, he met the devil, who asked for his soul. He accepted in exchange for a last drink before following him to hell. In order to achieve this deal, Lucifer turned into a coin, but it had a silver cross that prevented him from returning to its original form and thus condemning him to live under this appearance indefinitely. Jack proposed a final arrangement to the devil: to return his original appearance if he forgot his soul for the next ten years. The deal was concluded between the two characters.
The ten years passed quietly and the King of Hell remembered Jack’s good memories when the time came. On an Irish road, they found themselves face to face. The devil immediately demanded his due. Jack possessed an unbeatable rublardise and asked Lucifer one last favor: pick him an apple from the top of a tree before he followed him. Without delay, the latter went up on his shoulders to reach the fruit on the branches, while Jack drew a cross on the trunk of the tree, once again imprisoning the unfortunate! Stuck again, Lucifer had no choice but to accept the promise that he would never take his soul from him.
When Jack died, Paradise refused his doors because of his alcoholism and all his sins due to his bad character. By the deal he had made with the devil, hell was also forbidden to him. So he had no choice but to wander around Earth forever, since none of the ultimate places of eternal rest could accommodate him. To help Jack survive in the cold and wind, Lucifer gave him an ember that Jack hastened to put in a turnip to protect him from the bad weather and never extinguishes. This enlightened turnip thus served as a lantern in Jack’s wanderings, but also possessed the power to scare the malicious spirits.
Until they arrived on American soil, the Irish retained the belief of digging turnips to keep away the evil eye during Halloween week. During their exodus in 1850, they replaced them with squash, which were simpler to empty and massively present in American countries. The tradition of pumpkin carving therefore comes from an Irish tale and is still important in the United States, especially in families, where it is an opportunity to spend a special moment together.
Have a good Halloween !