Good Morning Everyone! I am CHIK Chun Him from class 5C and today I would like to ask you …… Have you ever heard one of the most famous Halloween stories about jack o’-lanterns? Let me tell you the story that originated from an Irish myth. It’s about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.”
One day, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Jack didn’t want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form. Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.
Soon after, Jack died. However, God would not allow such an unsavory person into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick that Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as “Jack- O’-Lantern.”
In Ireland and Scotland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Jack and other wandering evil spirits. In England, large beets are used. Immigrants from these countries brought the jack-o’-lanterns tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.
Making jack-o’-lanterns is a wonderful experience. Try to make one handmade before Halloween to celebrate this festival.
By CHIK Chun Him 5C (2)