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Halloween Jack-o'-Lanterns

Posted on 26th October 2014
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Halloween Jack-o'-Lanterns 

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For centuries people have been carving jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween and we’re sure you’ve either done yours already or your thinking about getting them done so that you can add them to your Halloween decoration theme.  But do you know the story behind the tradition? If you do; get back to work, otherwise grab a quick brew and we’ll begin.
 
The story behind the practice of carving jack-o'-lantern is derived from a very old Irish myth about a man named Stingy Jack. According to the story, Stingy Jack had invited the Devil to take a drink with him and being true to his name, Jack didn’t want to pay the bill for the drinks. He managed to convince and trick the Devil into turning himself into a coin which Jack would use to pay with. Having been tricked into transforming himself into a coin, Jack then flipped the Devil, shaped like a coin, into his pocket where it rested next to a silver cross that kept the Devil from transforming back.
 
Jack set free the Devil on condition that he, the Devil, wouldn't bother Jack for a whole year and that if he should die in that period, the Devil could never claim his soul.  
 
The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil, this time getting him to venture up into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. Once the Devil was in the tree, Jack carved a cross into the bark which held the Devil up in the branches. Jack again released the Devil, this time having got agreement for another 10 years of devil-free living.
 
Eventually Jack died but God decided that he wasn't a fit person to enter heaven and an annoyed Devil kept his word that he wouldn’t claim his soul, leaving Jack to an eternal purgatory of roaming the Earth with only a burning coal for light. He put the coal into a turnip so that it would act as a lantern, and Stingy Jack became "Jack of the Lantern" which became the more common "Jack o' Lantern" that we know today.  
 
Based on this myth, the Irish carved scary faces into turnips, beets and potatoes which were then placed in the window to scare away Stingy Jack or any other spirits of the night that should come a’calling. The idea of carving the face into a pumpkin comes from the time when the Irish migrants took the tradition to America the home of the pumpkin and where the carving and illuminating of Jack o’ Lanterns is now an intrinsic part of Halloween.
 
At Karnival Costumes, we've a range of pumpkin carving accessories to ensure that you get the best from your Halloween carving efforts. You'll find a selection of pumpkin carving tools, plus some free to download pumpkin carving patterns, We've also a selection of battery powered lights with various effects like strobe lighting and colour changing technologies so that you don't have to rely on a naked flame. Check them out now. 
 
 
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Image Source: Bodrugan
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