The excitement of transitioning to a glistening and colorful new season has arrived. Autumn with it's splendor is a joy to behold! We asked E-Trender contributor Judy Rizzo to do a little fall fact finding for us and wanted to explore the history and traditions of pumpkins.
The versatility of the pumpkin is enormous! From harvesting to picking to deciding which journey a pumpkin will travel takes us through adventure land. The lifespan of a pumpkin is long and is enjoyed for weeks and weeks. The word pumpkin comes from the Greek Pepon which means large melon. The three sisters are squash, corn and beans. Early Native American farmers practiced a form of sustainable agriculture which recently has been reinvented into our society.
The decorating of jack-o-lanterns originated in Ireland and comes from an Irish folktale about a man named Stingy Jack. Hundreds of years ago, a "wily grifter" named Stingy Jack gained the reputation of a slick whiskey downing con man. Stingy Jack was so well known that the devil himself wanted to meet him. Jack figured he'd been caught and his time was finally up. His last request to the devil was that he would be granted a pint at the local pub.
The devil was intrigued by Jack and in order for Jack to pay for all the drinks, he convinced Satan to turn himself into a coin to pay the bill. Jack smiled and shoved the coin into his pocket where he kept a tiny crucifix. The symbol prevented Satan from changing back into his true form and claiming the soul of Stingy Jack.
Jack and the devil had several more encounters and eventually Jack died from his wonton life style and was barred from heaven, carrying around a burning ember inside a scooped out turnip.
Many believe this tale was the inspiration for the Jack-o-latern.
Another festive ET fact: without pumpkins, many of the early settlers would have died of starvation. The following poem is a testament to the Pilgrim dependence upon pumpkins for food.
"For pottage and puddings and custards and pies Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon If it were not for pumpkins we should be undoon"
It's all so interesting – E-Trenders, did you know about the Stingey Jack tale?
Jumping into the present, many of us enjoy displaying all types of pumpkin decor throughout the fall months. We are working on some creative pumpkin recipes, décor ideas and best of all another ET CONTEST! So make sure you stay tuned and subscribe to our EventTrender blog for all the latest updates (see below for details)!
Here is a sneak peek of the stunning hand blown glass pumpkin we are giving away to one lucky E-Trender. The pumpkin is created by glass artists at the Glass Academy . You will seriously be "blown" away when we share founding partner, Michelle Plucinsky's talent, passion and Glass Academy vision with you in an upcomng ET blog post.
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