Connect with us

History

Why Do People Carve Scary Faces on Pumpkins During Halloween?

Apparently, there’s a dark, twisted story behind the tradition.

When it comes to Halloween celebrations, perhaps nothing is as ubiquitous as the carved pumpkins. Sure, we see bats, spider webs, skeletons, and a host of horror characters but no party or home decor is ever complete unless we have those Jack O’Lanterns.

But do you know the real story behind this iconic Halloween staple? Well apparently, it has a dark, twisted tale.

Source: Pexels

First and foremost, a Reader’s Digest article clarifies to us that no, Americans weren’t the first ones to carve pumpkings for Halloween. Based on history, the practice originated “from our European ancestors” and it was based on ancient Irish myth about “Stingy Jack.”

Source: Pexels

The feature reads:

According to folklore, Jack was a devious fellow who outsmarted the devil time and time again… Jack, the town drunk with a clever side, met the devil one fateful night. The duo shared a drink and, too cheap to pay for his booze, Jack convinced Satan to morph into a coin that he could use to pay for their beverages. As soon as he did, Jack put the coin in his pocket next to a silver cross. The devil was unable to change back into his original form, and Jack held him that way until Satan agreed not to take his soul. Sneaky! Next, the shifty swindler convinced the devil to climb up a tree to steal a piece of fruit. He quickly carved the sign of the cross into the tree bark. Again, the devil couldn’t come down until he agreed not to bother Jack for another 10 years.”

Source: Pexels

“Shortly after his meeting with the devil, Jack died. As legend goes, God would not accept Jack into heaven and sent him down to visit the devil in hell. But the devil kept his promise. He wouldn’t let Jack into hell, either, and imprisoned him to an even darker fate. The devil sent Jack into the dark night to roam the world for eternity, with only a coal to light his way. Jack lit the coal, put it in a hollowed-out turnip and has been drifting through the world, scaring children ever since. Townsfolk began to refer to this figure as “Jack of the lantern,” and shortly thereafter “Jack o’ lantern.” People began to carve their own lanterns out of turnips, beets, potatoes and eventually pumpkins in hopes of warding away any ghostly spirits.”

Source: Pexels

These days, the tradition has largely become considered as an American one. Aside from carving pumpkins, we also see little kids carrying plastic buckets bearing the shape and design of Jack O’Lantern as candy containers for trick-or-treating.

In case you’re curious, you might want to check out our past article about how an artist cardved insanely-detailed icons of pop culture on his Halloween pumpkins.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

History

6 Germanic Excavations That Led To Amazing Discoveries

#2 is a shocker!

The Germanic tribes of ancient Europe were often portrayed as savages. After all, they had regular clashes with the Romans back in the day. However, there was so much more to these tribes than people originally expected. The ancient Germans also traded with the Romans on a regular basis. Not surprisingly, most archaeological discoveries found that they were always interconnected.

Some excavations were not planned. In 2017, a Protestant church in Cologne did some digging in hopes of building a community center. Instead, they found the remains of the oldest Roman library in Germany, dating back 1,800 years ago. Here are six Germanic excavations with surprising results.

1. The Pottery In Osice

...

Continue Reading

History

7 Interesting Facts About The Samurai

#2 is just too awesome!

The samurai, just like the ninjas, have always fascinated people throughout history. The legendary warriors have been the subject of numerous films and the Western world often see them as a clan that followed a strict moral code. However, there is so much that we don't know about the samurai.

One particular misconception about the military caste involves their numbers. Although the samurai is often believed to be a rarity, there were so much more of them in history. The samurai was actually a social class and made up to ten percent of Japanese population during their popularity. In fact, every single Japanese person living today might have at least some samurai blood in them. Here are seven interesting facts about the samurai you probably didn't know.

1. The Samurai Armor

...

Continue Reading

History

8 Recent Discoveries About The Ancient Maya

#8 is truly shocking!

The ancient Maya are undoubtedly one of the most mysterious society in history. We only have a glimpse at their culture through ruins and art but that is changing as scientists continue to uncover new discoveries.

The ancient Maya certainly had unusual habits. Archaeologists have found that they chose to move their city borders outward when the population increased. This meant each resident still had a wide personal space and didn't have to live in a dense city. It is still unclear why they chose this practice. In the meantime, here are eight discoveries about the mysterious Mayas that have recently been discovered.

1. The Old Face Of Pakal The Great

...

Continue Reading