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Picking Pumpkins

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Picking Pumpkins

Senior Jesus Cruz paints his pumpkin in Mrs. Abston's art class.

Senior Jesus Cruz paints his pumpkin in Mrs. Abston's art class.

Danyka Mendoza

Senior Jesus Cruz paints his pumpkin in Mrs. Abston's art class.

Danyka Mendoza

Danyka Mendoza

Senior Jesus Cruz paints his pumpkin in Mrs. Abston's art class.

Marytza Martinez, Tribe rporter

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Every Halloween, it is no secret that one thing that everyone about this holiday, besides candy and scares, is the art of carving pumpkins.

This Halloween tradition originated from an Irish myth about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” Stingy invited the Devil to have a drink with him. Stinky Jack, staying true to his name, didn’t want to pay for his drink. He convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin, that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back to his original form. Jack eventually freed the evil with the rule that he could not bother Jack for one year, and that Jack should die, the Devil would not claim his soul.

After the year was up Jack tricked the Devil again. He climbed up the tree to pick a piece of fruit, while their Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree’s bark so the Devil could not come down until he promised Jack he would not bother him for ten more years. As legend goes, when Jack died God would not allow such an unholy figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack played on hi, and keeping his word to not claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell. Instead Jack was sent off into the dark night with only burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since. The Irish began to refer to his ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then simply as “Jack O’ Lantern.”

 

In Scotland and Ireland, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips or potatoes placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits. This soon began to spread to many other countries, including America.

 

Following this tradition, Morton High School art classes, taught by Luisa Abston, had students in all her art classes decorate their own pumpkins. Although they did not get to carve them (to prevent horrid smells) they did get to paint them. Each student got to decorate their pumpkin in a way that expressed their artistic abilities, in a cool way to celebrate Halloween.

“It was a lot of fun. I really like art and Halloween is my favorite holiday so it was a great way to express my excitement for both,” Lupita Regalado, a junior taking one of Mrs. Abston’s art classes said.

“I enjoyed making my pumpkin because the character I chose was Venom and I had just watched the movie,” Hugo Ramos, a senior also taking an art class said.

 

Halloween legend source:  http://www.novareinna.com/festive/jack.html

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