Halloween: the origin of the grimacing pumpkin

Halloween: the origin of the grimacing pumpkin

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October 31st is Halloween! Do you know the origins of this festival, and the reason for digging pumpkins to make candle holders?

Discover the legend of Jack O’Lantern ...

Read also :

  • Growing the pumpkin well
  • Carving a pumpkin for Halloween
  • Health benefits and virtues of pumpkin

Halloween: witches, ghosts and ... pumpkin

Very popular in Anglo-Saxon culture, the Halloween party has been taking place in France for over twenty years. It must be said that it makes children happy ... and has the merit of animating a commercially lull period.

The Halloween tradition is to scare passers-by with grimacing lanterns made of carved and carved pumpkins.

It has been enriched with a whole cohort of disguises and disturbing make-up: skeletons, zombies, witches, ghosts, vampires ...

For Halloween, all the reasons are good to be afraid and to evoke the dead, on this eve of All Saints (followed by the feast of the Dead, on the 2nd).

Halloween, a very old Celtic celebration

To twist the clichés conveyed by this event, which some consider a little too American and far removed from our culture, we must remember that Halloween is a folkloric and pagan celebration, born 2000 years ago in the Anglo-Celtic Islands ( Ireland and Scotland in particular). It was originally called Samain. Celebrated around October 31, it lasted for several days and marked the end of the year. In the 8th century, it was officially replaced by the feast of All Saints, set by the Roman Catholic Church for November 1, in order to eclipse the pagan feast. The name Halloween is actually derived from Old English "All Hallows Even", which means "All Saints' Day".

Legend of Jack O’Lantern: Why a dug pumpkin?

An old Irish tale says that a certain Jack, a drunkard and deceitful, made a pact with the Devil never to go to Hell. When he died on October 31, having led a bad life, he could not enter Heaven, and the gates of Hell also remained closed to him because of the promise made by the Devil never to take his soul. Jack was therefore condemned to wander in the darkness for eternity, provided with an embers given by the Devil, placed in a makeshift lantern made of a hollowed turnip (the gourds are native to America: no pumpkin at this era in Ireland!). Every October 31, for centuries, Celtic tradition thus celebrated the memory of Jack O’Lantern by placing a candle in a turnip, a swede, or a beet.

It was not until the mid-nineteenth century that the candle was placed in a pumpkin: the Irish who emigrated to America at that time brought their legend of Jack O'Lantern there, but abandoned the turnip in favor of the American pumpkin, wider, easier to dig and, not to spoil anything, a nice orange color!

Pumpkins, gourds and pumpkins, kings of autumn

In recent years, in France, the festivals of Cucurbits multiply, honoring the great family of squash, pumpkins and others colocynths. You may not appreciate the commercial hype around Halloween but still know how to take advantage of the riches of autumn: squash and pumpkins are colorful vegetables, natural or in a lantern version!

Read also :

  • How to grow a pumpkin well
  • Carving a pumpkin for Halloween
  • Health benefits and virtues of pumpkin

Video: Top 10 HALLOWEEN FACTS You DIDNT KNOW (June 2022).