Jack O’ Lantern – Irish Legend & History

Today, most people know that a Jack O’ Lantern is a hollowed out pumpkin (or squash). However, the term Jack O’ Lantern comes from an Irish legend about Stingy Jack.

Stingy Jack was a farmer who used to drink a lot. Legend has it that Jack tricked the devil to climb a tree and then trapped him in the tree trunk by carving a cross into the tree bark.

To get his revenge, the devil cursed Jack to roam the earth at night with a candle inside a hollowed turnip – the only light Jack had on that night.

Hence, Halloween has become associated with the carving of pumpkins.

Carving lanterns

Many people carve a frightening or funny face into their pumpkin at Halloween.