Day of the Pumpkin

On route home after a night’s drinking, Jack encounters the Devil and tricks him into climbing a tree. A quick-thinking Jack etches the  sign of the Cross into the bark, thus trapping the Devil. Jack strikes a bargain that Satan can never claim his soul. After a life of sin, drink and mendacity, Jack is refused entry to heaven when he dies. Keeping his promise, the Devil refuses to let Jack into hell and throws a live coal straight from the fires of hell at him. It was a cold night, so Jack places the coal in a hollowed out turnip to stop it from going out, since which time Jack and his lantern have been roaming looking for a place to rest.

The Pumpkin replaced the Turnip sometime in the last century in the US, elsewhere in UK, Scotland and Ireland, the Turnip rules even today.

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Halloween is the season for little ghosts and goblins to take to the streets, asking for candy and scaring one another silly. Spooky stories are told around fires, scary movies appear in theaters and pumpkins are expertly (and not-so-expertly) carved into jack o’lanterns.

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Amid all the commercialism, haunted houses and bogus warnings about razors in apples, the origins of Halloween are often overlooked. Yet Halloween is much more than just costumes and candy; in fact, the holiday has a rich and interesting history.

There was a belief that it was a day when spirits of the dead would cross over into the other world.Such moments of transition in the year have always been thought to be special and supernatural.

Halloween provides a safe way to play with the concept of death.People dress up as the living dead, and fake gravestones adorn front lawns,activities that wouldn’t be tolerated at other times of the year.

In North America a traditional Jack-o-lantern refers to a variety of pumpkin grown for its suitability for carving. They are fairly large in size, have upright strong walls, and most importantly a large hollow cavity. Jack O' Lantern

In the late 1800s there was a movement to turn Halloween into a celebration emphasizing community and neighborhood activities and parties. This is the Halloween we know and celebrate today.

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Today Jack-o-lanterns are a symbol of harvest celebrations and the Pumpkin is in every food item consumed by the Americans during this period.

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If you have had enough of having Punpkin Puree, Pumpkin butter,Pumpkin seed dish, Pumpkin candy ,Pumpkin salad…Pumpkin Ale anyone?

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