Pumpkin carving is a must-do Halloween tradition for many of us. Have you ever thought about how the tradition began? Halloween’s origins may be traced back to an old Celtic festival known as Samhain. Samhain was a time to remember the dead, and it was observed at the end of summer which also marks the beginning of a new year.
It is believed to this date that at Samhain, the souls of people who had died the previous year traveled to the otherworld, while other spirits would pay a visit to their homes.
So, as the story goes on, the origin of pumpkin carving may be traced back to an Irish legend about Stingy Jack, who deceived the Devil for personal gain.
Hence, Jack was doomed to walk the world for eternally when God refused to let him into heaven and the Devil refused to let him into hell after he died.
Therefore, people in Ireland believed that to scare away Jack’s wandering soul, carving demonic faces into turnips would protect them. Later when Irish immigrants arrived in the United States, they began carving jack-o’-lanterns out of pumpkins, which were plentiful in the area. And since then the tradition continues.
Today it’s a fun (family) initiative that gets you in the mood for Halloween while also allowing you to show your creativity. What you carve out of a pumpkin is entirely up to you.
The best part is the flexibility: you may opt for something lighthearted like your favorite meme or a terrifying zombie, it’s entirely up to you.