Halloween and the Pumpkin
The Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France, celebrated their new year on November 1. This day marked the end of summer and the harvest and the beginning of the dark, cold winter, a time of year that was often associated with human death.Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred. On the night of October 31, they celebrated, what was then called, Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
By the 800s, the influence of Christianity had spread into Celtic lands and designated November 1 All Saints' Day, a time to honour saints and martyrs.
The celebration was also called All-hallows or All-hallowmas (from Middle English Alholowmesse meaning All Saints' Day) and the night before it, the night of Samhain, began to be called All-hallows Eve and, eventually, Halloween.
It was celebrated with big bonfires, parades, and dressing up in costumes as saints, angels, and devils.
With a light placed within the hollowed out vegetable.
When the immigrants arrived in America and found a bountiful supply of pumpkins, they soon adopted the pumpkin as the best fruit for carving.
These carved vegetables were eventually called Jack O'Lanterns by the Irish who told a legend about a farmer named Jack who made a bargain with the devil that left him wandering the earth for all time. And the rest is history!
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