Getting ready for Halloween? Ever ask yourself why we do things like carve Jack-o’-Lanterns?

Littlest Martha

A very popular Halloween tradition is to hallow out a pumpkin, carve in to its face, drop a candle and put the Jack-o’-lantern out the front door. Oh, yes and of course, to salt and roast the savory, savory seeds. Ever wonder why?

The Tradition

Hark back to medieval days when the threat of evil spirits was more of a concern. To commemorate the souls in purgatory large turnips were turned in to candle lanterns. These turnips had faces and placed in windows and steps to ward off the bad spirits. Treats were also left for the spirits otherwise there was a risk that they would play tricks on the livestock or worse.

Pumpkins replaced turnips in North America since they were more readily available and easier to carve in to.

What’s In A Name?

Ignis fatuus (Latin for “foolish” “fire”) also known as a corpse candle (and many other…

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