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Why Do We Carve Pumpkins, Anyway?

You’ve probably been carving pumpkins for years. Maybe you’ve even been getting your pumpkins from our pumpkin patch for years, and now you are sharing the tradition with your kids. Have you stopped to thinkĀ why we carve pumpkins in the fall? It’s a pretty interesting tradition that starts with a tale from Ireland.

A carved pumpkin from our pumpkin patchHow a Man Named Jack Tricked the Devil

One day a man named Jack met up with the devil at a roadside tavern, where they shared a drink. Neither of them wanted to pay the bill at the end of the night, so Jack convinced the devil to turn himself into a coin so Jack could pay the barman. Instead, Jack slipped the coin into his pocket and kept it next to a silver cross so the devil couldn’t turn himself back. Jack felt bad, though, so he let the devil go on the condition that he wouldn’t come back for Jack for ten years. The devil agreed.

Ten years passed, and the devil came calling for Jack’s soul. Jack started to go along with himĀ but said he had one last request, which was to eat a delicious looking apple hanging from the highest branch. Jack couldn’t reach it himself, so the devil agreed to go up the tree and get it for Jack. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a cross into the bark and once again trapped the devil. Jack said he would release him, on the condition that he wouldn’t ever come again for Jack. The devil agreed, and Jack let him go.

More years passed and finally Jack died of old age. When he got to heaven, he learned St. Peter wouldn’t let him go in because of all of his misdeeds, but he couldn’t go to hell, either, because of his deal with the devil. This time, the devil took pity on Jack and made him a lantern out of a hollowed out turnip and a candle so Jack could see his way through purgatory for all of eternity. He became Jack with the Lantern, also known as Jack O’Lantern.

From Turnips to Pumpkins

Because of Jack’s adventures, families in Ireland and England would carve turnips with scary faces to scare away Jack O’Lantern along with any other spooky spirits that might be wondering about on All Hallow’s Eve. As those families immigrated to the United States in the 18th Century, they found that pumpkins were much more plentiful (and easier to carve!) than the traditional turnip, so the tradition changed. Today, we carve pumpkins with fun faces as decoration for fall and to light the night for trick or treaters looking for candy!

Visit Our Pumpkin Path This Fall

No matter why we do it, carving pumpkins is fun! It’s a great activity for the family and a tradition that stretches back hundreds of years. We’re keeping the tradition alive with our pumpkin patch. It’s filled with pumpkins of all shapes and sizes, and we even have unique gourds and white pumpkins for your fancy fall decorations. Come out and see all of the great pumpkins and pick out your favorites for just $.39 per pound.