A Gentleman and a Rogue

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pumpkins and Jack o'Lanterns

It's that time of year when leaves on the trees change into vibrant colors of gold red and purple. There's a chhill in the air, frost on the ground, and plenty of pumpkins for sale. Heck, who doesn't buy a decorative pumpkin for Halloween or enjoy a slice of pumpkin pie? I'd thought I'd share some pumpkin fast facts with you and share the story of "Stingy" Jack - Jack o' the lantern.

Have a fun Halloween!

PS... you can find me on The Romance Studio Spookaplooza this weekend at:http://theromancestudio.com/party/index.php Join me for some fun and great posts!

PSS... you can also find on the Long & Short Halloween Party on the Goddess Fish Blog.

** Where did the word pumpkin come from? The Greeks called it pepon, then the French began calling it pompon. The English switched it up and began using pumpion. When Americans got the word they began using pumpkin.

** Pumpkins are planted in early July to be ready in October.

**In 1981, Howard Dill of Nova Scotia grew a pumpkin close to 500 pounds. He patiented the seeds from the pumpkin calling them "Dill's Atlantic Giant Seeds."

** To date, the biggest pumpkin weighted in last October at 1,810. The owner was Chris Stevens.

**Ireland's only pumpkin festival isheld in Virgina, County Cavan.


So why do we carve scary faces into pumpkins for Halloween? Can you believe this tradition originates in Ireland and they used turnips until they discovered Pumpkins?

Here's the skinny on Jack:

Stingy Jack asked the Devil to have a drink with him. Stingy, though, asked the Devil to change into a coin so he could pay for the bar tab. The Devil did so. Jack kept the coin - next to a cross of course so the devil couldn't change back.

The Devil was peeved. He promised Jack he'd leave him alone for a year if Jack allowed him to turn back. Oh, and if Jack died, the Devil wouldn't claim his soul either.

A year later, Jack tricked the Devil into climbing a tree for a piece of fruit. Then he carved a cross into the tree so they Devil couldn't come down until the Devil promisd not to bother him for 10 years. The Devil agreed.

Then Jack died.

He was such a "punk," God wouldn't let him into Heaven. Jack turned to the Devil. The Devil, "Hey, I promised not to claim your soul." Then he gave Jack a burning coal and set him off into the dark night. Jack put his burning coal into a carved out turnip. He's been roaming the world since. The Irish called him Jack o' the Lantern. Peeps started carvin out their own turnips and subsquently pumpkins, to keep Stingy Jack away from their house.


  1. cool punkin facts, Steph. Though my parents turned us kids loose with knives to carve the pumpkins for Halloween, I went a different route with my kids. We got these special kid-friendly serrated knives for pumpkin carving. They worked well on the pumpkins and probably saved a finger or two.

    Happy pumpkin day, early!

    DEATH, ISLAND STYLE coming soon

  2. I didn't know the tale of Jack O'Lantern. Cute story. Tomorrow I'm going to visit my granddaughters and tric-or-treat with them. They said not to bother bringing a witch costume. They'll help me make it. So I'm looking forward to Hallaween night. On SAturday we'll carve pumpkins.

  3. Thanks for poppin in, Ladies. Maggie, yes, I remember back in the 70's we had knives. Brent buys the serrated knives for pumpkin carving now. He carved the last pumpkin in the post.

    Halloween sounds like it's going to be fun, Mona. I always enjoy dressing up my boys. This is a rare year where I have to work so I'm going as Spongebob to work. LOL!!


  4. Really cool facts on the pumpkin. I love to see the little kids in their costumes. Have a Happy and safe halloween.!!

  5. I feel like I just got a pumpkin education. I loved all the jack-o-lantern photos. Really cute, steph.

  6. Great pumpkins. I knew us Irish would have a hand in something like this... Very imaginative are we...

  7. Loved the kewl facts, Steph! Im a day late in posting but just wanted to wish you a

    Kari Thomas

  8. Pumpkins are fun aren't they? I hate to admit it, but if I have a chance, I still dress up for Halloween.


  9. Great pix and pumpkin facts!

  10. Well that's a story that's new to me. Very entertaining! I like your pumpkin pics. Gruesome and divine at the same time. Happy Halloween Steph!

  11. Meg, Pumpkins are fun, aren't they? hehe

    Kayelle, I hadn't heard that story before so I was happy to share it. Happy Halloween to all!