Another Halloween or Hallows Eve as some like to call it, is just about upon us. The night when all the little goblins come out looking for goodies. It is a great time of the year as is all holidays to me. I still love dressing up sometimes when passing out the candy.
And who could think about Halloween without thinking of the pumpkins all over the world. Those flowering plants that are characteristically spreading their vines. They have showy yellow orange flowers, large lobed leaves and long twisting tendrils. The plant grows in vines that just spread all across the ground.
The pumpkin genus is a native to warmer parts of America and is an economically important member of the gourd family. Pumpkins, squash, and some gourds are the fruits of the 4 different species of this genus, another word for pumpkin.
Pumpkins are used often for pies or pumpkin bread. But of course the most common use of the pumpkin is to cut it, hollow it out and cut our a very scary face. Get a candle, pop the stem back on and you have a scary pumpkin head to go with the tale of the Jack-O-Lantern. For those of you who are like me, and do not like scary faces, the stores now sell pumpkins with all kinds of cute faces painted on them. I just can’t grow up.
Before ending, I would like to share the story, although short, of the Jack-O-Lantern.
According to tales, there were a tribal people somewhere in West Central Europe. There was someone actually named Jack-O-Lantern. No one ever told me why but he was doomed horribly. The soul of the deceased person by the name of Jack-O-Lantern was barred from Heaven and hell and was condemned to wander the earth with his lantern. He surely was an evil person. That’s the tale I heard anyway. Whether it is true or not, it was and is a good little story to liven up your spooky Halloween parties.
The colors of Halloween of course, came from the orange of the pumpkin and black for the darkness that was associated with ghost, witches, and other so called supernatural things. There is also a Celtic holiday linked to important traditions in the annual cycle of seasons.