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  • Foto do escritorWalmir Bastos

I'm sure you've never heard this story.

Atualizado: 22 de out. de 2022

Você pode ler em português - Clique aqui

Learn how this smiling pumpkin, the so-called Jack O 'Lantern, has become the symbol of Halloween.


The name had its origin in an Irish folk legend about a man named "Stingy Jack".

A Legend has it that Stingy Jack invited the Devil for a drink but as he was very cheap, he did not intend to pay for it. Using his cleverness, Jack manages to talk the Devil into turning into a coin to pay the bill.

As soon as the devil turned himself into a coin, Jack changed his mind and decided that he would keep the money for himself. He then put the coin into his pocket, along with a silver crucifix, thus preventing the Devil from returning to his original form.

Negotiating with Jack so that he would set him free, the Devil promised that he would remain a year without trying to do any harm against him and in case Jack died, he would not claim his soul.


A year later when the Devil approached him again, Jack was once again able, for some unknown reason, to persuade him to climb a tree to catch a fruit.


When the Devil was up the tree, with a pocketknife Jack engraved the sign of the cross on the trunk so that he could not come down.

After further negotiation, the Devil promised to leave him alone for ten more years.

However, not long after, Stingy Jack died and God did not allow him to enter Heaven. The Devil, in turn, not being able to claim his soul, did not let him enter hell either, but sentenced him to wander through the dark night with only an amber to light the way.

Unable to hold the amber in his hand, Jack placed it inside a hollow pumpkin and has wandered the world ever since.

The Irish began to call him "Jack of the lantern" or more popularly "Jack O' Lantern."

Thereafter, they began carving faces on turnips and large potatoes to chase away evil spirits, and when the tradition was brought to the United States, they began using pumpkins which were easy to carve and abundant in the new world.


Today, smiling- or threatening-carved-faced pumpkins are placed on the balconies and steps of houses, no longer to scare away witches and goblins as they used to, but to create the delightful and mysterious magic atmosphere that surrounds the Halloween night.



 

Glossary:

so-called - assim chamado

pumpkin - abóbora

Stingy - Avarento

cheap see synonim above - stingy - nesse contexto Pão duro

amber - brasa

thus - assim

further - nesse contexto nova

wander - vagar, andar sem rumo

hollow - oco

thereafter - daí para frente

turnip - nabo

carve - esculpir

goblin - duende

delightful - delicioso


Idioms:

leave someone alone - deixar alguém em paz

 

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Prof. Walmir Bastos

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