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The History Of Jack-o-lantern

Author : CD Mohatta




Everyone is familiar with the tradition of Jack-o'-lantern, where pumpkins are used as costumes and to decorate our houses during Halloween. However, do we really know the real story of Jack-o'-lantern, as to how it all started? Here it goes, there are two myths or stories that are believed to be true by a lot of people.

The first story:
Jack was a shrewd Irish farmer. He was nicknamed as Stingy Jack by everyone. He very well knew that, since he was a bad person, after he died he would go straight to hell. So in order to ensure that the devil would be unable to take his soul, Stingy Jack came up with a well formulated plan. He invited the Devil for a drink. Stingy as he was, he did not have money to pay for the drink. So he tricked the Devil by convincing him to turn into a coin so that he could pay for the drink. As soon as the Devil turned into the coin, Jack put the coin into his pocket, where a cross was also placed. The cross, neutralized the Devil's powers and hence he could not turn back into his original form.

The second story:
The Irish farmer, Jack being a very bad person was scared of the fires of hell. Hence, he tricked the Devil, by asking him to climb a tree to pick a fruit. When the Devil did that he carved a cross, on the bark of the tree. So, the Devil was trapped up there.

At the end of both these stories, Jack, blackmailed the Devil to promise him that he would not bother Jack again and if he died he would never take his soul. The devil reluctantly agreed. Now, when Jack died, he had no place to go. The gates of heaven were obviously closed for him. The Devil also, keeping his word did not take him to hell. He sent him into the dark night, only with a piece of coal. Jack carved a pumpkin and placed this piece of coal beneath it. He used this for light, as he began to relentlessly wander on earth. Thus he came to be known as Jack-o'-lantern.


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The author loves to write and what better way than to write online. These days, he has written text for Halloween 2010. He also works on photo effects and free screensavers in his free time.

Article Source:
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Tags:   Jack, Jack-o-lantern. Story, Halloween, Family, Home, Festival, Holidays

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Submitted : 2010-10-25    Word Count : 409    Times Viewed: 412