Have you ever wondered how the practice of turning a pumpkin into a scary jack-o’-lantern started? Here’s the story:
Jack-o’-lantern sounds Irish because it is. The flickering, carved pumpkin faces that animate the American Halloween derive from an old Irish custom of creating rustic lanterns from vegetables.
The Irish child’s typical Halloween flashlight was a hollowed-out turnip or potato with a candle inside. When the Irish landed in America in the 19th century, they were quick to spot the possibilities in the pumpkin, and a new tradition was born.