An Irish myth in which a character tricked the Devil created the tradition of carving pumpkins every Halloween. This tradition came to the United States centuries ago.

One of the main characteristics that pumpkins have during Halloween, without a doubt, are the smiles with which they are carved to give a gloomy touch to this emblematic night of the year.

These smiles that year after year we see in thousands of these specimens around the country, are part of a centuries-old tradition from the Celtic culture of Ireland, but well adapted to the American culture.

The truth is that the images carved on pumpkins come from an Irish myth where a character named Stingy Jack carved images on turnips and potatoes. The tradition came to the United States thanks to Irish immigrants.

According to a report in History, Americans have been carving pumpkins for Halloween for centuries. When the Irish arrived in the United States, they began to tell the story of Stingy Jack, who supposedly invited the Devil to have a drink with him.

The myth tells that Jack did not want to pay for his drink, so he asked the Devil to turn himself into a coin that he would use to buy his drinks. The Devil accepted, Jack decided to keep the money and put it in his pocket next to a silver cross, this prevented the Devil from changing back into his form.

After what happened, the man released the Devil, promising that there would be no revenge for a year and that if Stingy died he would not claim his soul. At the end of the agreed period, again, the Irishman tricked him into climbing a tree to pick some fruit.

While in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross in the bark of the tree so that the demon could not get down, it was then that the man made him promise that he would not bother him for ten years.

Although the Irishman twice deceived the Devil, he soon died, but the devil could not claim his soul. Given what happened, God would not allow someone like that to enter heaven either.

So he decided that Jack should be in the dark night with a burning coal to light his way. So, the myth narrates that the Irish man placed the coal in a carved turnip and has been wandering the town ever since.

Categorized in:

Tagged in: