Orange and black illustration of a jack-o-lantern on a black background
The Jack O’Lantern is often correlated with American Halloween. However, the legend and activity originated in Ireland. Instead of the Irish carving pumpkins, they would carve what they had such as turnips or potatoes. The name “Jack O’Lantern” originates from Irish folklore. According to legend, a man named “Stingy Jack” invited the Devil to have a drink with him. Because of what his name suggests, Stingy Jack did not want to pay for his drink. Stingy Jack convinced the Devil to turn into a coin so that he could buy the drinks. He then forces the devil to stay in the form of a coin and puts the coin in his pocket next to his cross. Stingy Jack tricks the Devil a few more times and always with the security of the cross surrounding him. However, when Stingy Jack dies, God does not let him into heaven and the Devil does not let him into Hell. The Devil only gives him a burning coal to serve as light while Stingy Jack is destined to travel Earth. He puts the coal in a carved turnip to use as a lantern, and so the name “Jack O’Lantern” is born.
History.com. (2019, October 28). How Jack O’Lanterns originated in Irish myth. https://www.history.com/news/history-of-the-jack-o-lantern-irish-origins