The History of Jack-O’-Lanterns
Where did we get the tradition of carving jack-o’-lanterns for Halloween? Supposedly, the practice of decorating and carving jack-o’-lanterns comes from the Celts who held a festival of Samhain each year and believed Samhain was a time when supernatural beings and souls of the dead roamed the earth. The custom arrived in America with Irish immigrants where it became an integral part of Halloween festivities.
According to Irish folktale, a miserable man and drunk named Stingy Jack enjoyed playing tricks on people, including the devil. Unable to enter heaven or hell after his death, he was destined to roam the earth listlessly. Jack placed a piece of coal into a carved-out, large turnip and used it as a lantern to keep the evil spirits away. Today in America, pumpkins are carved into jack-o-lanterns, lit, and placed outside of doorways for the same purpose.
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Take a Peek at UNDER STARRY SKIES
Hired as the town’s school teacher, Maria O’Donnell and her sister Abigail arrive in the Colorado Territory in 1875, only to find the uncle they were to stay with has been murdered.
Rancher Tye Ashmore is content with life until he meets quiet and beautiful Maria. He falls in love at first sight, but her reluctance to jeopardize her teaching position by accepting his marriage proposal only makes him more determined to make her part of his life.
When their lives are threatened by gunshots and a gunnysack of dangerous wildlife, Tye believes he is the target of an unknown enemy. Not until Maria receives written threats urging her to leave does she realize she might be the target instead of the handsome rancher.
With the help of Tye, Abigail, and a wily Indian called Two Bears, Maria works to uncover her uncle’s killer and put aside her fears. But will she discover happiness and true love under Colorado’s starry skies? Link: UNDER STARRY SKIES
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