What comes to your mind when you think of Halloween? Do the colours of orange and black pop up in your mind? Pumpkins, brooms and witches? Trick or Treat? Alas, do you know how this day came about? Halloween falls on October 31st. This very day marks the end of summer and the beginning of cold hard winter, a time of the year that is associated with human deaths.
The very fruit that is associated with this day is none other than your Pumpkin. It is an orange food harvested in October, this nutritious and versatile plant has seeds and flesh that are edible and rich in vitamins. Pumpkins can be used to make soups, desserts and breads and even pumpkin pie.
Do you know what the health benefits of pumpkin are? It is low in calories, fat and sodium and high in fiber. Pumpkins are packed with Vitamin A, which helps to boost your immunity system and that means that one wouldn’t fall sick so easily. In addition, it also contained vitamin C, which aids in white blood cell production and helps to make wounds heal faster. Furthermore, pumpkins also improve our eyesight. We all know that our eyesight will deteriorate as we age. Seriously, who doesn’t want to protect their vision? And the nutrients present in pumpkins such as beta carotene, vitamin C and E helps just in that! Such nutrients not only help in our eyesight but in giving us radiant skin as well! Healthy skin is important as we all would want to look beautiful.
So what exactly this fruit has to do with this spooky day? There exists this myth where a person called Stingy Jack who tricked the devil for his monetary gain. Unfortunately, when Jack died, God did not allow him to Heaven and neither did the Devil allow him to Hell. Hence, he was sentenced to roam the Earth for eternity. That is why in Ireland, people started to carve demonic faces on Pumpkins to ward off the spirit of Jack. As a result, this tradition has since then been passed down ever since, as a way in general to disguise and repel wandering evil spirits around your house.
How about the infamous Trick or Treat where people come in ringing on your doorbells demanding for treats? It was believed that poor people would visit the houses of wealthier families and receive pastries called soul cakes in exchange for a promise to pray for the homeowners’ dead relatives. This practice was later taken up by children who would then go door to door asking for gifts such as food and money. Usually, they would sing a song, recite a poem, tell a joke, or perform a “trick” in order to receive their treat, which would usually be fruit, nuts or coins.
Although this festival is predominantly associated with the Western part of the world, it is still being celebrated today for all ages alike. People can don their costumes as devils and put on scary make ups. This day might be scary, but it will not be short of the fun that you can expect!