We have all seen them. Some of us have even had a go at carving them. But do you know where the idea of carving scary faces into pumpkins came from?
The practice is believed to have originated in parts of Ireland and the Scottish Highlands. But instead of pumpkins, they used turnips or mangel wurzels.
Back then the festival was known as Samhain. It was believed that during Samhain supernatural being and the dead once more roamed the earth.
What was the purpose of the lanterns?
Well, there were two very fascinating reasons...
Firstly, they were used to frighten people ~ they did, after all, represent, thanks to their carvings, evil spirit. Much like Halloween masks do today.
Secondly, they were used to ward off evil spirits. If you place the Jack-O'-Lantern in your windowsill, it is said it will keep evil spirits away from your house.
So will you be carving a pumpkin today and if so, will you be doing it to frighten people or to keep the evil spirits away...?
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See you on your next coffee break!
Mary Anne xxx