holiday :: a halloween tale

"BOO!!!"Did you ever wonder how the tradition of Trick-or-Treating and the Jack -o'-Lantern began. I did and this is what I found...

It all began long long ago in Ireland. One eerie black night a drunken blacksmith named Jack ran into the Devil in a pub. Jack had too much to drink and was about to fall into the Devil's hands, when he managed to trick the Devil by offering his soul in exchange for one last drink. The Devil turned himself into a sixpence to pay the bartender, but Jack quickly pocketed him in his purse. Because Jack had a silver cross in his purse, the Devil could not change himself back. Jack would not let the Devil go until he promised not to claim his soul for ten years. The Devil agreed.

Then ten years later Jack came across the Devil while walking along a country road. The Devil wanted to collect, but clever Jack said to the devil, "I'll go, but before I go, will you get me an apple from that tree?" The Devil, thinking he had nothing to lose, jumped on Jack's shoulders to grab the apple. Jack pulled out his knife and quickly carved a cross in the trunk of the tree and the Devil was again unable to obtain Jack or his soul. Jack made the devil promise to never again ask for his soul and seeing no way out, the Devil agreed. No one knows how the Devil ever managed to get out of the tree!

When Jack finally died years later, he was not admitted to Heaven,happy halloween:) by _rebekka because of his life of drinking and being tightfisted and deceitful. When he went to apply for entrance to Hell, the Devil had to turn him away because before he had agreed never to take Jack's soul. "But where can I go?", asked Jack. "Back where you came from!", cried the Devil. The way back was windy and dark. Jack pleaded with the Devil to at least provide him a light to find his way. The Devil, as a final gesture, threw a live coal at Jack straight from the fire of Hell. To light his way and to keep it from blowing out in the wind, Jack put it in a turnip he was eating.Ever since, Jack has been doomed to wander in darkness with his lantern until "Judgment Day." Jack of the lantern (Jack o'Lantern) became known as the symbol of a damned soul.

(When the term jack-o'-lantern first appeared in print in 1750, it referred to a night watchman or a man carrying a lantern.)People believed that spirits and ghosts left the grave on Halloween night and would seek out warmth in their previous homes. V
this is halloween!! by echobelli
illagers, fearful of the possibility of being visited by the ghosts of past occupants, would dress up in costumes to scare the spirits on their way. They would also leave food and other treats at their door to appease the spirits, so they would not destroy their homes or crops, but instead move on down the road. They also began to hollow out turnips with a face either painted or carved into it, and place lighted candles inside, hoping the image of a dammed soul would scare the spirits away.

And so my friends this is how the Jack-o-lantern and trick or treating came to be. Cool story huh?

macys.com- 10.8 - 10.13

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