(WHTM) — Along with dressing up for Halloween and trick or treating, carving pumpkins has been a Halloween staple for many across the United States. But have you ever wondered why we do it?
According to Encyclopedia Britannica the origin of carving pumpkins comes from an Irish myth about a man named “Stingy Jack”. It is said that Jack tricked the devil for a way to receive money. The story goes that when Jack died, God would not allow him to be in heaven, and the Devil would not allow him into hell.
Because of this, Jack was sentenced to roam the Earth for eternity. In Ireland, people would start to carve faces into turnips to frighten the soul of Jack and make him go away.
When some of the Irish came over to the United States, they started to carve these faces into pumpkins, since those were native to the land.
It relates to Halloween since the holiday follows the traditions of the Samhain, which many other traditions such as trick or treating came from. The folklore about Stingy Jack was quickly incorporated into Halloween, and that is why we carve faces into pumpkins to this day.