14 Days: Pumpkin Carving!
One of the best parts of the Halloween season is carving Jack O’ Lanterns and the resulting feast on toasted pumpkin seeds. Every year, I tr to do something a little different, and two years ago was one of my favorites, a very surprised looking pumpkin with a large serving fork that I had jabbed into the side of the head. Fun!
Take a look at the folk tale of Jack O’ the Lantern, care of Wikipedia, then enjoy some pictures from last night’s carving!
An old Irish folk tale tells of Jack, a lazy yet shrewd farmer who uses a cross to trap the Devil. One story says that Jack tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree, and once he was up there Jack quickly placed crosses around the trunk or carved a cross into the bark, so that the Devil couldn’t get down. Another myth says that Jack put a key in the Devil’s pocket while he was suspended upside-down.
Another version of the myth says that Jack was getting chased by some villagers from whom he had stolen, when he met the Devil, who claimed it was time for him to die. However, the thief stalled his death by tempting the Devil with a chance to bedevil the church-going villagers chasing him. Jack told the Devil to turn into a coin with which he would pay for the stolen goods (the Devil could take on any shape he wanted); later, when the coin/Devil disappeared, the Christian villagers would fight over who had stolen it. The Devil agreed to this plan. He turned himself into a silver coin and jumped into Jack’s wallet, only to find himself next to a cross Jack had also picked up in the village. Jack had closed the wallet tight, and the cross stripped the Devil of his powers; and so he was trapped. In both myths, Jack only lets the Devil go when he agrees never to take his soul. After a while the thief died, as all living things do. Of course, his life had been too sinful for Jack to go to heaven; however, the Devil had promised not to take his soul, and so he was barred from hell as well. Jack now had nowhere to go. He asked how he would see where to go, as he had no light, and the Devil mockingly tossed him an ember that would never burn out from the flames of hell. Jack carved out one of his turnips (which was his favourite food), put the ember inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place. He became known as “Jack of the Lantern”, or Jack-o’-Lantern. (source)
Here’s the family as we begin to carve
Taking out seeds
And putting them right back in!
Meg should have had more dinner
Happy to scoop pumpkin matter
Happily sketching my Jack O’ Lantern
The girl’s completed Jacks
All lit up and outside
And time for bed 🙂