Happy Halloween II --- Halloween Customs (down part)

Jack’s Lantern

The "Jack’s Lantern" custom probably comes from Irish folklore. As the tale is told, a man named Jack, who was notorious as a drunkard and trickster, tricked Satan into climbing a tree. Jack then carved an image of a cross in the tree's trunk, trapping the devil up the tree. Jack made a deal with the devil that, if he would never tempt him again, he would promise to let him down the tree.

According to the folk tale, after Jack died, he was denied entrance to Heaven because of his evil ways, but he was also denied access to Hell because he had tricked the devil. Instead, the devil gave him a single ember to light his way through the frigid darkness. The ember was placed inside a hollowed-out turnip to keep it glowing longer.

The "Jack’s Lantern" looks very cute and lovely, and its could be bought out very simple: Take a pumpkin and hollowed out it, then engraved smiling eyes and a big mouth on the outside, then put a candle in and lit it, so people could able to see this naive and smiling face faraway, this is just the children's favorite toy on Halloween.

The Irish used turnips as their "Jack's lanterns" originally. But when the immigrants came to America, they found that pumpkins were far more plentiful than turnips. So the Jack-O-Lantern in America was a hollowed-out pumpkin, lit with an ember.

Custom Tradition Review

In the most "haunted" night, all kinds of demons, pirates, witches and extraterrestrial visitors will turn out one after another. In the era before Christ, the Celtics have the custom of to hold a ceremony at the end of the summer to express thanks for the benefactions given by God and the Sun, diviners of the time will light up fires and apply witchcrafts to drive away the demons and spirits that wandering around.

Later, the custom of Romans that using nuts and apples to celebrate harvest was fused with the custom of Celtics on October 31, and In the Middle Ages, people were accustomed to put on costumes of animal designs, and worn terrible masks to drive away ghosts and demons in the night before Halloween. Although the Christianism had taken place of the Celtic and Roman’s religious activities later, these early Halloween customs have been kept down finally.

The Halloween we celebrate today includes all of these influences, Pomona Day's apples, nuts, and harvest, the Festival of Samhain's black cats, magic, evil spirits and death, and the ghosts, skeletons and skulls from All Saint's Day and All Soul's Day.

So, although some cults may have adopted Halloween as their favorite "holiday," the day itself did not grow out of evil practices. It grew out of the rituals of Celts celebrating a new year, and out of Medieval prayer rituals of Europeans. And today, even many churches have Halloween parties or pumpkin carving events for the kids. After all, the day itself is only as evil as one cares to make it.

Today, children wear on a variety of Halloween costumes and masks jokingly to attend Halloween parties, and people has been familiar with the scene of various witches made of paper, black cats, skeletons and ghost figures hanging on the walls of the parties, also in front of windows and doors there are pumpkin lanterns with bare teeth and open mouths or formidable faces.

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