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   Every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world. Gourd-like orange fruits inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns”—the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.

The Legend of “Stingy Jack”

   People have been making jack-o’-lanterns at Halloween for centuries. The practice originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” According to the story, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy 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.







   Quickly after, Jack died. Because the legend goes, God wouldn’t enable such an unsavory determine into heaven. The Satan, upset by the trick Jack had performed on him and holding his phrase to not declare his soul, wouldn’t enable Jack into hell. He despatched Jack off into the darkish evening with solely a burning coal to mild his manner. Jack put the coal right into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish started to consult with this ghostly determine as “Jack of the Lantern,” after which, merely “Jack O’Lantern.”

   In Eire and Scotland, folks started to make their very own variations of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes and inserting them into home windows or close to doorways to frighten away Stingy Jack and different wandering evil spirits. In England, massive beets are used. Immigrants from these international locations introduced the jack o’lantern custom with them after they got here to the United States. They quickly discovered that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make excellent jack-o’-lanterns.


   In the USA, pumpkins go hand in hand with the autumn holidays of Halloween and Thanksgiving. An orange fruit harvested in October, this nutritious and versatile plant options flowers, seeds and flesh which might be edible and wealthy in nutritional vitamins. Pumpkin is used to make soups, desserts and breads, and lots of People embrace pumpkin pie of their Thanksgiving meals. Carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns is a well-liked Halloween custom that originated a whole lot of years in the past in Eire. Again then, nonetheless, jack-o’-lanterns have been made out of turnips or potatoes; it wasn’t till Irish immigrants arrived in America and found the pumpkin {that a} new Halloween ritual was born.

Pumpkin Information

  • Pumpkins are a member of the gourd household, which incorporates cucumbers, honeydew melons, cantaloupe, watermelons and zucchini. These crops are native to Central America and Mexico, however now develop on six continents.

  • The biggest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,020 kilos.                                                                            

  • Pumpkins have been grown in North America for 5 thousand years. They’re indigenous to the western hemisphere.

  • In 1584, after French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the St. Lawrence area of North    America, he reported discovering  “gros melons.” The identify was translated into English as “pompions,” which has since advanced into the trendy “pumpkin.”

  • Pumpkins are low in energy, fats, and sodium and excessive in fiber. They’re good sources of        Vitamin A, Vitamin B, potassium, protein, and iron.

  • The heaviest pumpkin weighed 1,810 lb 8 oz and was offered by Chris Stevens on the       Stillwater Harvest Fest in  Stillwater, Minnesota, in October 2010.

  • Pumpkin seeds needs to be planted between the final week of Might and the center of June.       They take between 90 and 120 days to develop and are picked in October when they’re shiny orange in shade. Their seeds could be saved to develop new pumpkins the following yr.

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