Halloween and the Jack O’Lantern’s legend

The origins of Halloween

Halloween is an old tradition. It falls on October 31st. It is believed that during the night between October 31st and November 1st, witches, ghosts, and spirits return to Earth to have fun and play tricks on people who dress up in scary costumes to ward off fear. This celebration has very ancient origins: over 2000 years ago, the Celts, an ancient people who inhabited Britain and parts of England, invoked the god Samhain, the spirits of their loved ones to return to Earth during this night, marking the transition from autumn to winter and the start of the new year. On this occasion, they lit large fires and prepared food to warm and nourish the deceased.

Origin of the word ‘Halloween’

The word “Hallow” is an old word for “Saint”.
Halloween is the modern version of “Hallow’s Eve”.
Eve means “the evening before”.
Halloween means “the evening before All Saint’ Day”.

The Celts who invoked the spirits

God Samhain, the prince of death

The Celts with scary masks

Jack O’Lantern’s legend

In the legend, Jack was a clever fellow who managed to trick the devil many times. He made the devil promise to never take his soul. One time, Jack invited the devil for a drink in a pub and asked him to turn into a coin to pay the bill. The devil agreed, but Jack put the coin in a bag with a cross on it, so the devil couldn’t change back. Jack only let the devil go after getting a promise that he wouldn’t bother him for a year and that if he died, the devil wouldn’t take his soul.
Another year later, Jack tricked the devil again by making him climb a tree and carving a cross on the trunk, so the devil couldn’t come down. Jack released the devil after getting a promise that he wouldn’t bother him for another ten years.
When Jack passed away, he couldn’t go to either heaven or hell, and the devil gave him a burning ember to place in an empty turnip to light his way in the dark. Since then, Jack roams the world with his turnip lantern, known as Jack O’Lantern. That’s why on Halloween night, people carve scary faces into pumpkins and place candles inside them to remember Jack’s story and keep away evil spirits.

Jack O’Lantern with the devil at the pub

When Jack was rejected by the devil

Jack roams the world with his pumpkin lantern to light his way in the dark

Happy Halloween!