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définition - Jack-o'-lantern

jack-o'-lantern (n.)

1.lantern carved from a pumpkin

2.a pale light sometimes seen at night over marshy ground

jack-o-lantern (n.)

1.a large poisonous agaric with orange caps and narrow clustered stalks; the gills are luminescent

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définition (complément)

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synonymes - Jack-o'-lantern

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Wikipedia

Jack-o'-lantern

                   
  Three jack-o'-lanterns illuminated from within by candles.

A jack-o'-lantern is typically a carved pumpkin. It is associated chiefly with the holiday of Halloween and was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs, called ignis fatuus or jack-o'-lantern. In a jack-o'-lantern, typically the top is cut off, and the inside flesh then scooped out; an image, usually a monstrous face, is carved onto the outside surface, and the lid replaced. It is typically seen during Halloween.

Contents

  Pumpkin craft

Sections of the pumpkin are cut out to make holes, often depicting a face, which may be either cheerful, scary, or comical. More complex carvings are becoming more commonly seen. Popular figures, symbols, and logos are some that can now be seen used on pumpkins. A variety of tools can be used to carve and hollow out the gourd, ranging from simple knives and spoons to specialized instruments, typically sold in holiday sections of North American grocery stores. Printed stencils can be used as a guide for increasingly complex designs. After carving, a light source (traditionally a candle) is placed inside the pumpkin and the top is put back into place. The light is normally inserted to illuminate the design from the inside and add an extra measure of spookiness. Sometimes a chimney is carved, too. It is possible to create surprisingly artistic designs, be they simple or intricate in nature.

The tradition of carving a lantern started in Scotland and Ireland where it was traditionally carved from a turnip, and in England where a beet was used.[1] They were created on All Hallows' Eve and left on the door step to ward off evil spirits.[2] An offering or, as we now know it, a "treat", would also be commonly left to placate roaming sprites and evil spirits — otherwise they might 'fiddle' with property or livestock (play a "trick"). Once the tradition moved to the US, it was adapted to the carving of a pumpkin as these vegetables were more readily available, bigger and easier to carve.[1]

  Tradition

  A traditional Irish turnip halloween lantern from the early 20th century on display in the Museum of Country Life, Ireland.

Throughout Ireland and Britain, there is a long tradition of carving lanterns from vegetables, particularly the turnip, mangelwurzel, and swede or rutabaga.[3] The turnip has traditionally been used in Ireland and Scotland at Halloween,[1] but immigrants to North America used the larger native pumpkin, which are both readily available and much larger – making them easier to carve than turnips.[1] While turnips have always been used in Ireland, lanterns in Scotland were originally fashioned from the thick stem of a cabbage plant, and were called "kail-runt torches".[4] It was not until 1837 that jack-o'-lantern appeared as a term for a carved vegetable lantern,[5] and the carved pumpkin lantern association with Halloween is recorded in 1866.[6]

In the United States, the carved pumpkin was first associated with the harvest season in general, long before it became an emblem of Halloween.[7] In 1900, an article on Thanksgiving entertaining recommended a lit jack-o'-lantern as part of the festivities.[7] The poet John Greenleaf Whittier, who was born in Massachussetts in 1807, wrote "The Pumpkin" (1850):[8]

Oh!—fruit loved of boyhood!—the old days recalling,

When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!

  Folklore

  Pumpkin craft for Halloween.
  Halloween Pumpkin
  Pumpkin projected onto the wall.

The story of the carved vegetable as a lantern comes in many variants and is similar to the story of Will-o'-the-wisp[9] retold in different forms across England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. An old[year needed] Irish folk tale[citation needed] tells of Stingy Jack, a lazy yet shrewd farmer who uses a cross to trap the Devil. One story[citation needed] says that Jack tricked the Devil into climbing an apple tree, and once he was up there Jack quickly placed crosses around the trunk or carved a cross into the bark, so that the Devil couldn't get down. Another tale[citation needed] says that Jack put a key in the Devil's pocket while he was suspended upside-down.

Another version[citation needed] of the story says that Jack was getting chased by some villagers from whom he had stolen, when he met the Devil, who claimed it was time for him to die. However, the thief stalled his death by tempting the Devil with a chance to bedevil the church-going villagers chasing him. Jack told the Devil to turn into a coin with which he would pay for the stolen goods (the Devil could take on any shape he wanted); later, when the coin/Devil disappeared, the Christian villagers would fight over who had stolen it. The Devil agreed to this plan. He turned himself into a silver coin and jumped into Jack's wallet, only to find himself next to a cross Jack had also picked up in the village. Jack had closed the wallet tight, and the cross stripped the Devil of his powers; and so he was trapped.

In both folktales, Jack only lets the Devil go when he agrees never to take his soul. After a while the thief died, as all living things do. Of course, his life had been too sinful for Jack to go to heaven; however, the Devil had promised not to take his soul, and so he was barred from hell as well. Jack now had nowhere to go. He asked how he would see where to go, as he had no light, and the Devil mockingly tossed him an ember that would never burn out from the flames of hell. Jack carved out one of his turnips (which was his favourite food), put the ember inside it, and began endlessly wandering the Earth for a resting place. He became known as "Jack of the Lantern", or Jack-o'-Lantern.

The term jack-o'-lantern is in origin a term for an ignis fatuus or will-o'-the-wisp in English folklore, used especially in East Anglia, its the earliest known use dating to the 1660s. The application of the term to carved pumpkins in American English is first attested in 1834.[10]

  World records

For a long time, Keene, New Hampshire held the world record for most jack-o'-lanterns carved and lit in one place. The Life is good company teamed up with Camp Sunshine, a camp for children with life threatening illnesses and their families, to break the record. A record was set on October 21, 2006 when 30,128 jack-o'-lanterns were simultaneously lit on Boston Common.[11]

The most recent record is held by Highwood, Illinois. Highwood set the record on October 31, 2011. The new record is 30,919 pumpkins. http://highlandpark.suntimes.com/news/8307610-418/story.html

The world's largest was carved from the world's then-largest pumpkin on October 31, 2005 in Northern Cambria, Pennsylvania, United States by Scott Cully. The pumpkin was grown by Larry Checkon and weighed 1,469 lb (666.33 kg) on October 1, 2005 at the Pennsylvania Giant Pumpkin Growers Association Weigh-off.[12]

  See also

  References

  1. ^ a b c d The Oxford companion to American food and drink p.269. Oxford University Press, 2007. Retrieved February 17, 2011
  2. ^ Arnold, Bettina (2001-10-31). "Bettina Arnold – Halloween Lecture: Halloween Customs in the Celtic World". Halloween Inaugural Celebration. University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee: Center for Celtic Studies. https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/barnold/www/lectures/holloween.html. Retrieved 2007-10-16. 
  3. ^ They continue to be popular choices today as carved lanterns in Scotland and Northern Ireland, although the British purchased a million pumpkins for Halloween in 2004. "Pumpkins Passions", BBC, 31 October 2005. Retrieved on 19 October 2006. "Turnip battles with pumpkin for Hallowe'en", BBC, 28 October 2005. Retrieved 23 September 2007.
  4. ^ The pagan book of Halloween: a complete guide to the magick, incantations, recipes, spells, and lore p.32. PenguinCompass, 2000. Retrieved February 12, 2011
  5. ^ Nathaniel Hawthorne, "The Great Carbuncle," in Twice-Told Tales, 1837:
    Hide it [the great carbuncle] under thy cloak, say'st thou? Why, it will gleam through the holes, and make thee look like a jack-o'-lantern!
  6. ^ Daily News (Kingston, Ontario), November 1, 1866: The old time custom of keeping up Hallowe'en was not forgotten last night by the youngsters of the city. They had their maskings and their merry-makings, and perambulated the streets after dark in a way which was no doubt amusing to themselves. There was a great sacrifice of pumpkins from which to make transparent heads and face, lighted up by the unfailing two inches of tallow candle. Agnes Carr Sage, "Halloween Sports and Customs," Harper's Young People, October 27, 1885, p. 828:
    It is an ancient Scottish custom to light great bonfires on Halloween, and carry blazing fagots about on long poles; but in place of this American boys delight in the funny grinning jack-o'-lanterns made of huge yellow pumpkins with a candle inside.
  7. ^ a b "The Day We Celebrate: Thanksgiving Treated Gastronomically and Socially," The New York Times, November 24, 1895, p. 27. "Odd Ornaments for Table," The New York Times, October 21, 1900, p. 12.
  8. ^ Whittier, John Greenleaf. "The Pumpkin".
  9. ^ Jack Santino All around the year: holidays and celebrations in American life, p.157 University of Illinois Press, 1995
  10. ^ "Jack-o'-lantern," Oxford English Dictionary. The earliest citation is from 1663.
  11. ^ Michael Levenson and Kathy McCabe, A love in Common for pumpkins, The Boston Globe, October 22, 2006, p. B6.
  12. ^ "Largest Jack O'Lantern". Guinness World Records 2009. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records/natural_world/plant_world/largest_jack_o_lantern.aspx. Retrieved October 10, 2009. 

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