Pumpkins We carve pumpkins in Ireland at Halloween, October 31st. Pumpkin carving, like Halloween, came from the Celts. The carved pumpkin with a light inside was supposed to ward off evil spirits. The Celts however, not having pumpkins, had to use their smaller, less tasty (and much harder to carve) cousin, the turnip. Pumpkins are soft on the inside and it is easy to scoop out the seedsand flesh. Carved pumpkins/turnips are sometimes called Jack o' Lanterns from the ancient Irish legend.
Jack was a smart, lazy, gambling, selfish lad who, when he died, was not even accepted into Hell. Instead, the devil gave him a pumpkin/turnip with a burning coal inside to light his way as he wandered round the earth. Children enjoy carving pumpkins at this time of year and they add to the mystery and spookiness surrounding Halloween.
Recently, people have even carved Jack Sparrowâ€™s face! What a talent!