October 16, 2011 | Terry Kaufman
The name Jack O'Lantern finds its origins in old Irish folk tales. Long ago, there was an Irishman named Jack who was of dubious character. He was a notorious drunkard and troublemaker.
One day he tricked the Devil into climbing up a tree. The reprobate Jack proceeded to carve a representation of the Holy Cross into the trunk of the tree, thus trapping Satan high up in the branches.
October 9, 2011 | Tonia Jordan
Samhain, the traditional Celtic holiday, literally means "summer's end." The Celts divided the year into two seasons, representing light and dark. The first day of each season held a celebration, with Beltane on May 1st and Samhain on November 1st.
Samhain was an important festival, as it welcomed new beginnings and a new year for the Celts. It also symbolized a union or communality between people. Bonfires were lit by people within a village. While the bonfire blazed, villagers extinguished all other fires. Each family would then light its hearth from the common flame of the bonfire, bonding the families of a village together.