Monday, October 27, 2008

The Legend of the Jack O' Lantern

Happy Halloween!

Almost!

Yesterday Lisa and I carved our pumpkins. Of course mine is awesome, but Lisa foolishly insists that hers is the better. Can you help us out? In the comment section below, vote for your favorite: Scary Pumpkin or Sweet Pumpkin. Of course, Scary Pumpkin is the one sporting the gleeful BOO. We've wagered a dinner out on the town. Hopefully, my pumpkin will garner me a nice, juicy steak! On Halloween night we'll reveal which pumpkin is mine and which is Lisa's, then tally the votes and declare a winner!




But what is the story behind the Jack O' Lantern? The legend goes back several centuries to old Ireland where the miserable drunkard Stingy Jack met the Devil on a lonely road and invited him for a drink. The two traveled to a pub in a nearby village. Stingy Jack, tight with his purse strings, suggested that the Devil turn himself into a coin so that Jack might pay for the drinks. The Devil agreed and transformed into a coin. Stingy Jack quickly placed the coin inside his coat pocket where he also kept a silver cross. The Devil was trapped! Jack made a deal with the Devil. In return for his freedom, the Devil agreed never to claim Stingy Jack's soul.

Stingy Jack led a long and miserly life. Upon his death, his soul traveled to the Pearly Gates where St. Peter turned him away. "But where will I go?" cried Jack. He wandered in darkness to the mouth of Hell where the Devil was waiting. "Away!" shouted the Devil. The Devil reached into Hellfire and tossed a burning coal at Jack. Stingy Jack placed the coal in a hollowed out turnip and wanders the darkness to this day.

There are several legends of Jack and the Devil. The stories traveled from Ireland on the tongues of immigrants. In England, beets and rutabagas were carved out to hold the Devil's fire. In the United States, pumpkins are perfect. So now we light Jack O' Lanterns to remind us of Stingy Jack, poor wandering Jack. And to be wary of the Devil on a lonely road.



27 comments:

Joan said...

Ohh boy - tough choice! They're both FABULOUS but me and my 6th-grader have to cast our vote for SWEET. Happy night out!

Colin said...

Scary pumpkin, all the way!

Jeff said...

Sweet Pumpkin.

Laura J said...

Two thumbs up for the scary pumpkin! Happy Halloween!

SP said...

sweet pumpkin!

Jennifer said...

I think I spent more time deliberating this decision than the one I'm making on 11/4. But ultimately, I'm going with Scary. (Sorry, Sweet.)

8chNelle said...

Gonna have to go with "scary", although they're both pretty suhhwwweeet!

kellyj said...

sweet!

Sharon said...

I have to go with Scary.

jheilbron said...

We were told we have four votes for our family, and here they are: 2 for sweet and 2 for scary. It was hard to decide!!! Maybe if we ask all the critters it wouldn't be even....Good job guys!

KM said...

Scary pumpkin gets my vote!

Anonymous said...

Scary! (But you both are really good at this jack o' lantern thing--wanna come out and do some for me?)

--Agent E.

Heather Tomlinson said...

Scary gets my vote!

Mary Ann said...

Gotta go with Scary Pumpkin!

Shawna said...

Congrats to the both of you for being sooooo creative. I will have to vote for Scary! Sorry~~~Sweet! Happy Halloween.

The Bourdeau's said...

We are a divided household in more ways than one - when it comes to voting that is. We have 2 votes for each of the lovely pumpkins!

sandra said...

Both are good! but my vote is for the Scary pumpkin!

Stanley said...

Scary pumpkin!

davec said...

Scary pumpkin! What is Jeff thinking?

RonB said...

I go for the non-BOO one----need something happy especially for my little pumpkin Summerlyn

Vcarroll said...

Scary pumpkin!

MMcDonald said...

Scary, but they're both nice.

MBlack said...

Scary!

KDarling said...

Scary

OEO Party said...

Votes for Scary:
Samantha
Brandi
Armi
Leah
Ray Kelley Waters

Votes for Sweet:
Tara
Andrew

Dorthy said...

scary!

Anonymous said...

Boo is appropriate for the season but the sweet one reminds me of Felix the Cat from the olden days, so he/she gets my vote.