Happy Halloween from all at Notaro Homes…

 

Halloween is also known as Allhalloween, All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints Eve. It is celebrated every year on October 31st, the eve of the western Christian feast of All Hallow’s Day – a solemnity in honour of all the saints.

Halloween is believed to be the time of year that spirits of the dead would ‘come alive’ and that using humour and dressing up would give the people power to confront the spirits.

Nowadays we celebrate with activities such as trick-or-treating, dressing up as ‘scary’ characters, attending parties, playing tricks, watching horror films etc and of course carving pumpkins into Jack-o’-Lanterns.

Jack-o’-Lanterns derived from Irish folklore, dating back 100 of years, which brings us to one particular story – ‘Stingy Jack’ –
Stingy Jack was an old miserable drunk who enjoyed playing tricks on everyone, including the Devil! One day he tricked the devil into climbing an apple tree, whilst he was up there, Stingy Jack quickly drew crosses around the trunk of the tree, trapping the devil, because he is unable to touch crosses. Stingy Jack made a deal with the vulnerable devil that he would let him down as long as he promises never to take Jack’s soul; the devil agreed.

Years passed and Jack died, waiting at the pearly gates of heaven, he was met by Saint Peter who told Jack that he cannot enter because he lived a mean and cruel life on earth. Jack then went to the Devil in Hell, but the Devil kept his promise to never take his soul, left in the netherworld between heaven and hell in the dark, he asked how he can see with no light. The devil threw him an ember from the flames of hell and Jack had a turnip that he carved and placed the ember in that he used to light his way to find a resting place.

Every Halloween the Irish would carve turnips, potatoes, beets etc and placed a light inside to ward of spirits and keep Stingy Jack away. These carved vegetables were the original Jack O’Lanterns until the 1800’s when they discovered pumpkins in America.

So don’t forget to put out your carved Jack O’Lanterns to keep Jack away this evening!

 

Happy Halloween!