I never really thought about why we carved pumpkins and placed them outside of our houses. I just thought of it as a fun tradition that my family used to do. It turns out there’s much more to carving pumpkins then I might’ve thought.

The Irish brought the tradition of carving pumpkins into Jack O’Lantern to America. The name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. But, the original Jack O’Lantern was not made out of a pumpkin. Pumpkins were not common in Ireland. Ancient Celtic cultures in Ireland carved turnips on All Hallow’s Eve, and placed an ember in them, to ward off evil spirits. It wasn’t until Irish immigrants arrived in America and the use of the next best alternative to the turnip, a pumpkin that a new Halloween ritual was born.

You also might want to know why it’s called a Jack O’Lantern? Its named after the phenomenon of a strange light flickering over peat bogs, called will-o’-the-wisp n folklore, a will-o’-the-wisp, will-o’-wisp or ignis fatuus is an atmospheric ghost light seen by travelers at night, especially over bogs, swamps or marshes.


 There are endless possibilities to what you can do/carve into a pumpkin. It can be a very fun thing to do with your family.