Today: Apr 23, 2024

Pumpkin season is upon us

Carolina Torres – Staff Writer

Stingy Jack got into trouble with the devil.

Jack had an encounter with the devil and invited him to have a drink, but since Jack did not want to pay for it, he convinced the devil to turn himself into a coin. After doing so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket, next to a silver cross that prevented the devil from turning back into his original form. Jack released him after making a deal: The master of hell would not bother Jack for one more year, nor would he claim his soul in case Jack died. After one year, the devil traced Jack, who tricked him again. This time, Jack claimed not to be bothered for another ten years. But Jack died within this decade. His soul was neither accepted from God to enter heaven, nor could he gain access to hell, for the devil kept his word not to claim his soul.

This Irish myth, documented on, a website hosted by A&E Television Networks, reveals that Stingy Jack’s soul was sent off into the dark night, Jack having only a burning coal to light his way. To protect his light, he put it into a carved-out turnip and has been restlessly wandering on earth ever since. The Irish referred to this ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern”, short “Jack O’Lantern.”    To scare away Stingy Jack, Irish and Scottish people started to carve scary faces into turnips and potatoes. After immigrants brought this tradition to the United States, they soon figured out that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect jack-o’-lanterns.

“The pumpkin decorations don’t really do anything to me,” said Ben Furlong, a junior history and education major at Southern. “But what I really like about this season is the pumpkin flavored hot coffee. I wished we had it all the year. Even though I couldn’t drink it every day, but at least once or twice a week.”

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Pumpkins have been grown in North America for 5,000 years, states Nowadays, they grow on every continent in the world. Either if they are used for decoration or pumpkin flavored treats and beverages, pumpkins are highly demanded in the United States, as the U.S. census reveals. According to the census, about 1.1 billion pounds of pumpkins were grown in 2010. The leading pumpkin producing states are Illinois, California, New York and Ohio, each with an estimate of more than 100 million pounds of pumpkin per year. The largest pumpkin pie ever made weighed 2,020 pound and measured 12 feet and 1 inch, as documented on the Guinness World Record’s homepage. The same source reveals that the largest Jack O’Lantern was carved from a pumpkin weighing 1,810 pounds by a man named Scott Cully in New York on Oct. 2010. The same pumpkin is also considered as being the heaviest pumpkin ever documented.

Dunkin Donuts adjusted to the pumpkin demand in autumn, said Tamika Daluz, union worker at Southern’s D&D, by offering different pumpkin flavored drinks and treats.

“We offer them since Sept. 25 and we will have them also in November, since it’s still pumpkin season,” she said. “The pumpkin products are really popular, especially the pumpkin muffins and the coffees. If we don’t have it, people just go crazy about it.”

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