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Jack-O-Lantern: A History

Jack-O-Lanterns with various facial expressions

Have you ever wondered how the practice of turning a pumpkin into a scary jack-o-lantern started? Here’s the story:

 Jack-o-lantern sounds Irish because it is. The flickering, carved pumpkin faces that animate the American Halloween derive from an old Irish custom of creating rustic lanterns from vegetables. The Irish child’s typical Halloween flashlight was a hollowed-out turnip or potato with a candle inside. When the Irish landed in America in the nineteenth century, they were quick to spot the possibilities in the pumpkin, and a new tradition was born.

Jack-O-Lantern Treat Cups

Share the story of the “Birth of the Jack-O-Lantern” with these yummy treat cups! Just right-click the image to save and print as is! 🎃

Jack-O-Lantern Treat Cup Recipe


  • oranges
  • choice of filling: mousse, pudding, Jell-o
  • choice of garnish: Whipped cream, candy
  • knife
  • spoon


  1. Follow the instructions on the filling and set aside.
  2. Cut tops of oranges. Scoop out the inside of oranges with spoon. Keep orange pieces if you wish to include as part of your filling.
  3. Cut out the jack-o-lantern face, careful not to cut all the way through.
  4. Spoon filling into the orange cups and refrigerate.
  5. Garnish, place lids back on oranges and serve.

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