Monday, October 27, 2014

The Halloween "Jack-o-Lantern" Part III

Excepts taken from "Just Thoughts of a Plain Country Woman" by Lucile Ellingwood Morrow, pulished on November 4, 1954 in The Collinsville News.  

". . . . .Older than any of these prophecy games was the "tricks or . treats" custom. Seems that on Hallowe'en, peasants went about the countryside, demanding contributions of farmers in the name
of a Druid God. If the farmers were generous and "treated" all was well, but if not "tricks" were performed on him; after a good night's haul, the peasants were loaded with potatoes, butter, eggs, turnips and such "gifts".
Although there were no pumpkins in Ireland in those days, the turnip was hollowed out, a live coal placed within, thus making a lantern. The pumpkin came to be used in America and the "Hallowe'en symbol" was called "Jacko-Lantern" from a spirit named "Jack" who was not allowed in either Heaven or Hades because of a trick he once played on Satan. On Hallowe'en he wanders over the earth with his strange lantern. 

The same night in the Roman Catholic church is called "All Soul's Eve" or "Hallowed Evening"; so after the missionaries converted the Druids, the Christian world adopted the pagan festival days as

a time for fun and celebration.

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