By Jamila Faizullabhoy, Zoe Mixon, and Carolina Koceman
Have you ever wondered about how all of these Halloween traditions originated? If so we are here to answer that for you. You can find out how trick or treating started, the history of Jack-O-lanterns, and why Halloween started.
History of Trick or Treating
Trick or Treating started with the Celts. They would dress up as spirits, because they thought that somehow the dead and living would come together, and demons would roam the earth. They thought that if you dressed up as a demon and ran into one, they would think you were one of them.
People think that this tradition came with the Saints to America. This isn’t true. Trick-or-Treating reemerged in the 20’s and 30’s during World War ll. Since the sugar rations were coming in, it was common to try and find the houses that had sugar.
History of Jack O’lanterns
Jack O’Lanterns go back all the way to Irish history. Jack O’Lanterns are based on an urban legend about a man called Stingy Jack.
Stingy Jack was a man who always drank and tricked people in his town. He tricked his family, friends, and even the devil. One day he tricked the devil by making him climb up in an apple tree. The devil got stuck in the tree and couldn’t get down. Stingy Jack made the devil promise to never take his soul when Stingy Jack dies. The devil made the promise and Jack let the devil come back down from the apple tree.
Years later Jack died. He was sent to Heaven, but Saint Peter sent him back to Hell since he had a worthless life on Earth and didn’t deserve to be in Heaven. When Jack was sent to Hell, the devil kept his promise and did not let Jack into the gates of Hell. Jack was scared since he had nowhere to go. The devil gave Jack an ember from the flames of Hell to light his way through the neverworld. Jack also had a turnip. Jack placed the ember inside the turnip. Jack wandered lost through the neverland’s with his “Jack O’Lanterns.”
On Hallow’s eve, the Irish would put lights inside turnips, rutabagas, gourds, and many others. This would scare away evil spirits as well as keeping Stingy Jack away. Many Irish immigrants came to America and found that pumpkins are easier to carve out to insert the light. This is how Jack O’Lanterns came to be.