Friday, October 7, 2011

Stingy Jack - Postcard Friendship Friday #84

I posted the story of Stingy Jack last year during Halloween--I loved this unusual story so much, I decided to post it again!  Happy Halloween!

The term "jack-o-lantern" came from the fae Irish in the form of a mythical story about a character named Stingy Jack. Jack was a drunkard who, having invited the Devil for a drink, requested the Devil transform himself into money to pay for the drinks. When the Devil did so, Jack took the money and put it in his pocket next to a silver cross. The Devil, unable to transform himself into his original form because of the cross, was trapped.

So Jack made a deal with the Devil--he would not bother Jack and would leave him alone for a year if he was allowed to change back. The Devil, agreeable to this, came back to Jack in a year. However, a year later when confronted by the Devil, Jack tricked the Devil into climbing a tree to pick a piece of fruit. Once the Devil was in the tree, Jack carved a cross in the trunk of the tree, preventing the Devil from descending, until he agreed once again not to bother Jack for another ten years.

When poor Stingy Jack died a short time later, neither God nor the Devil would accept him into their kingdom. But the Devil sent Jack away into the night with only a hot coal to light his way, which Jack put into a hollowed out turnip. Thus began the tradition of jack-o-lanterns.

For many years jack-o-lanterns were carved from large turnips.  However, in the 1800s, Irish immigrants discovered America's native orange pumpkin, which lent itself even better to the tradition of carving out lanterns.  Thus our tradition of carving pumpkins for Hallows Eve.

*  NOTE: You don't have to stick to the theme I choose each Friday. Just put up the postcards you love and tell us why you like them.

*  Don't forget to visit Gemma at Greyscale Territory for Weekend Mailbox.

*  REMINDER: Comments and links which contain advertising and do not refer to any of the following; Postcard Friendship Friday, mailboxes, the Post office, postcards or the love of postcards, will be deleted.


Sreisaat said...

So this is how the jack-o-lanterns came about. What an interesting story - and now I can re-tell this to my nephew who's fascinated by Halloween creatures he watches on CartoonNetwork. I wish I have postcards like this one. Mine are mostly touristic postcards.

Postcards Crossing

Dorincard said...

Cute postcard, strange story...:)

MrCachet said...

I'll start this one off with the Thank You that you so rightfully deserve for being so generous with your time - and a GREAT CARD to go with it!

LiT Web Studio said...

great stories can always stand a retelling...or two! have missed PFF for a few weeks...nice to be back! is it halloween already!?!!!

Snap said...

Wonderful story and I'm so glad you told it again! Maybe I'll remember this time! :D :D Happy PFF and thank you!

Aimee said...

Great story and I love the card!

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

Lovely card and I don't remember that story!

Heather said...

I have used turnips to carve for lanterns while Christmas carolling. I didn't know the story though. Thanks.

Grace Bailhache said...

Okay so this was the story ! well I think I will impress my girls friends with this during our next meeting.

Thank you for hosting this hop and for sharing this.


PonyBoy Press said...

Love this postcard! Happy October!