The Jack-O-Lantern: Then and Now!
Hi Friends!! Before we start today I wanted to give you my warmest gratitude for all of your support. Last week in London Amara Interior Blog Awards announced the winning blogs in different categories. The way it works is that first blogs were nominated, then all of you voted (THANK YOU!) for your favorites in each category to form the short list! A panel of prestigious judges researched the chosen blogs and picked their favorite! And the winner for the Best US Interior Blog is…………..
I honestly was shocked and was so sad I couldn’t go in person to be a part of the event and meet all the other amazing participants and bloggers!! I definitely was there in spirit! To see the full Amara Awards Ceremony click here. To see a list of the winners click here. I have looked at all of their blogs and have picked up some great new inspirational reads! Again, I am so blessed to have all of you!!
A Now For Halloween!
As far back as 1663, the term,”jack-o’-lantern”, meant a man with a lantern, or a night watchman. Just a decade or so later, it began to be used to refer to the mysterious lights sometimes seen at night over bogs, swamps, and marshes. These ghost lights—variously called jack-o’-lanterns, hinkypunks, hobby lanterns, corpse candles, fairy lights, will-o’-the-wisps, and fool’s fire—are created when gases from decomposing plant matter ignite as they come into contact with electricity or heat or as they oxidize. For centuries before this scientific explanation was known, people told stories to explain the mysterious lights. In Ireland, dating as far back as the 1500s, those stories often revolved around a guy named Jack. There are many stories about the legend of Stingy Jack. Here is one of the most popular!
This made me curious about the evolution of the jack-o’-lantern and I thought it would be fun to see the “then” and “now”!
Did you know that the first vegetables to be carved weren’t pumpkins?
They were turnips, beets, potatoes, and gourds!! They were stuffed with coal, wood embers or candles as impromtu lanterns. As a prank, kids would carry these glowing vegetables to make their friends think they were Stingy Jack or another lost soul!
People began placing their own versions of such lanterns in windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. It’s a good thing this creepy guy is in a museum in Ireland!
Eventually, around the 1800s, immigrants brought the tradition to America where the native pumpkin was plentiful and much easier to carve than a turnip. This photo is circa 1884! The carvings were very basic and we started to see “less evil” takes on the jack-o-lantern.
If you are interested in hosting an event or carrying the book please don’t hesitate to reach out! Email Karly@segretofinishes.com for all inquiries! We love to visit new cities!!!