October 26, 2012

National Pumpkin Day

“We fancy men are individuals; so are pumpkins; but every pumpkin in the field goes through every point of pumpkin history.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It's National Pumpkin Day!

Since it's nearly Halloween let me tell you an old Irish tale. There once was a man named Jack. He was a conniving thief of a man that loved to play cruel pranks on people! At some point, he tricked even The Devil himself into being captured and wouldn't let him go unless he agreed to never take Jack's wicked soul (other versions of this story say that Jack was a drunk blacksmith who met up with The Devil at a neighborhood pub where he offered his soul in exchange for one last drink since he knew he was doomed to hell anyway). The Devil agreed and let Jack live out the rest of his days. When he died, his life had been too sinful to be allowed into heaven, but he had also been banned from hell since The Devil had promised not to take his soul. With nowhere to go, Jack was stuck in the dark depths of purgatory. He cried out to The Devil, "How will I see?" And The Devil, mocking him, tossed an ember from the flames of hell at his feet. Jack converted a turnip - his favorite food which he always had on him - into a lamp and began his endless wander through Earth looking for a resting place. He became known as Jack of the Lantern, or Jack-O'-Lantern.

It's thought that the Irish immigrants to the States perhaps switched from turnips (or rutabagas, beets, potatoes, etc.) to pumpkins, because their size and shape made them much easier to carve. I mean seriously, think about trying to carve a turnip!

(Photo credit: Remick Photography)

Happy National Pumpkin Day!