The leaves are turning, there is a crispness in the air, and the Halloween season is upon us! Straddling the line between fall and winter, Halloween is a time of celebration and superstition. It is thought to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, (pronounced sow-in), which means “end of summer”, the Celtic New Year. During this celebration, people would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off roaming ghosts. The evening before was known as All Hallows’ Eve and later Halloween. Over time, Halloween evolved into a secular, community-based event characterized by child-friendly activities such as trick-or-treating.
Every October, carved pumpkins peer out from porches and doorsteps in the United States and other parts of the world. Gourd-like orange fruits inscribed with ghoulish faces and illuminated by candles are a sure sign of the Halloween season. The practice of decorating “jack-o’-lanterns”—the name comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack—originated in Ireland, where large turnips and potatoes served as an early canvas. Irish children used to carve out potatoes or turnips and light them for their Halloween gatherings. Jack was a shifty Irish villain so wicked that neither God nor the Devil wanted him. Rejected by both the sacred and profane, he wandered the world endlessly looking for a place to rest, his only warmth a glittering candle in a rotten turnip. Irish immigrants brought the tradition to America, home of the pumpkin, and it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.
We don’t have any potatoes or turnips to offer, but we DO have bright and shiny Seeds of Happiness pumpkins to celebrate autumn and Halloween! http://www.history.com/topics/halloween http://www.history.com/topics/jack-olantern-history