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Why Are Pumpkins Used During Halloween?

Jun 16, 2023

Why Are Pumpkins Used During Halloween?

It all began from an Irish myth about Stingy Jack, who tricked the Devil for his own monetary gain. When Jack died, he wasn’t allowed into heaven and hell, so Jack was sentenced to roam the earth for eternity. 

In Ireland, people started to carve demonic faces out of turnips to frighten away Jack’s wandering soul. When Irish immigrants moved to the U.S., they began carving jack-o’-lanterns from pumpkins, as these were native to the region.

So how did jack-o’-lanterns become associated with Halloween? Halloween is based on the Celtic festival Samhain, a celebration in ancient Britain and Ireland that marked the end of summer and the beginning of the new year on November 1. It was believed that during Samhain the souls of those who had died that year travelled to the otherworld and that other souls would return to visit their homes.

This led to the tradition of wearing disguises to hide yourself from the souls wandering around your home – which has since then evolved into the tradition of carving pumpkins for Halloween.