One of my favorite times of year is Howl-O’ween because there are so many yummy treats we make all year round with this yummy large rounded orange-yellow fruit. BUT I was horrified to find out the REAL story. Hold on to your hat while I spin out the REAL story in case you have not heard it told.
It seems according to Celtic folklore, a long, long, long time ago before you or I were ever born there was this poor farmer named Jack! Well, one night in the harsh winds of fall, Mr Jack got drunk on adult apple cider and tricked the devil himself! His trick-or-ry got the poor man Jack turned away from both heaven and hell when he suddenly died one October night. He was cast away into the darkness of a place called purgatory. Jack carved himself a lantern from a turnip an angel had gifted him and a discarded piece of burning coal the devil had tossed him from hell.
As the story goes, Mr. Jack used this lantern to guide his lost soul and the Celtic people all believed that they needed to place Jack-o-Lanterns outside their homes and roadsides to help guide other lost spirits home as they wandered the streets on All Hallows’ Eve, October 31st… the same day that poor drunken Jack was laid to unrest.
Historically pumpkins had to be substituted after 1846 due to the Irish potato famine when the Celtic people had to flee to North America and turnips were hard to find.
So the next time you see a smiling or scary pumpkin glowing at you… remember Jack and his turnip…do a little soul searching and be thankful you can find your way home!