This may be my favorite Halloween tradition story. In America, we owe our Halloween traditions to the Irish. Halloween was not celebrated as extensively in America until the Irish Potato Famine (1845-1852), where 1.5 million Irish people immigrated to America bringing their rich traditions. One story was “Stingy Jack.”
The reason Jack placed pieces of burning coal inside smaller root vegetables is because pumpkins were not available in Ireland. When the Irish settled in America, they preferred to use the larger fruit. Today, pumpkins are used for carving and lighting the paths for trick-or-treaters.