History of the “Jack O’ Lantern” 315

Every October, carved pumpkins are displayed on our porches and doorsteps. We all have carved, or watched someone carve, a pumpkin into a “Jack-O’ Lantern” during the Halloween season.  Do you know where and when the custom of carving and decorating “Jack-O’-Lanterns” began?

People have been making Jack-O’-Lanterns during Halloween for centuries.  The practice of carving “Jack O’Lanterns” originated from an Irish myth tracing back hundreds about a man nicknamed “Stingy Jack.” Stingy Jack was a miserable, old drunk who took pleasure in playing tricks on just about everyone. Jack was known throughout the land as a deceiver, manipulator and otherwise dreg of society. On a fateful night, the devil overheard the tale of Jack’s evil deeds and silver tongue. Unconvinced (and envious) of the rumors, the devil went to find out for himself whether or not Jack lived up to his vile reputation. Typical of Jack, he was drunk and wandering through the countryside at night when he came upon the Devil on his cobblestone path. Jack realized somberly this was his end; the Devil had finally come to collect his evil soul. Jack made a last request: he asked the Devil to let him drink ale before he departed to Hades. Finding no reason not to acquiesce the request, Satan took Jack to the local pub and supplied him with many alcoholic beverages. Upon quenching his thirst, Jack asked the Devil to pay the tab on the ale, to the Devils surprise. Jack convinced the Devil to change into a silver coin with which to pay the bartender . Shrewdly, Jack stuck the coin into his pocket, which also contained a crucifix. The crucifix’s presence kept the Devil from escaping his form. This coerced the Devil to agree to Jack’s demand: in exchange for  freedom, he had to spare Jack’s soul for ten years. The Devil promised and was set free.

Ten years later to the date when Jack originally struck his deal, he found himself once again in the Devils presence. Jack happened upon the Devil in almost the same setting as before and seemingly accepted it was his time to go to Hell for good. As the Devil prepared to take him to hell, Jack asked if he could have one apple to feed his starving belly. Foolishly the Devil once again agreed to this request. As the Devil climbed up the branches of a nearby apple tree, Jack surrounded its base with crucifixes. Frustrated at the fact that he been entrapped again, the Devil demanded his release. As Jack did before, he made a demand: that his soul never be taken by the Devil into Hell. Satan agreed and again was set free.

Many years later, Jack died and as legends goes, he went to the pearly gates and he was turned away from Heaven, due to his life of sin. He then went down to Hell and the Devil. The Devil kept his promise and would not allow him to enter Hell. Now Jack had nowhere to go, but to wander about forever in the dark world between heaven and hell. He asked the Devil how he could leave, as there was no light. The Devil tossed him an ember from the flames of Hell, to help Stingy Jack light his way. Jack put the ember into a carved-out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with ever since.  According to the legend, you can see Jack’s spirit on All Hallows’ Eve, still carrying his turnip lantern through the darkness. The Irish began to refer to this eerie ghostly figure as “Jack of the Lantern,” and then, just “Jack O’ Lantern.”

In Ireland, Scotland and England, people began to make their own versions of Jack’s lanterns by carving scary faces into turnips, potatoes or beets and placing them into windows or near doors to frighten away Stingy Jack and other wandering evil spirits on Hallows eve. Immigrants from these countries brought the “Jack O’ Lantern” tradition with them when they came to the United States. They soon found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, were bigger and easier to carve and make perfect “Jack-O’-Lanterns”.

Carving pumpkins into Jack-O-Lanterns became an American tradition as Halloween was adopted in the “New World” in the early 1880’s becoming part of American Holiday traditions. Today Jack-o’-lanterns are still synonymous with Halloween. Illuminated pumpkins decorated with ghoulish faces, cartoons, and pretty much anything you can think of, are now found on almost every doorstep.

 

 

 

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Don’t Miss LI’s Winter Restaurant Week January 26th- February 2nd, 2020 531

Long Island Restaurant Week Winter 2020

Join us for our Winter Long Island Restaurant Week January 26th – February 2nd, 2020. As always during restaurant week, participating restaurants will offer a $29.95 three-course prix fixe all night every night they are open from Sunday to Sunday, except Saturday when it only has to be offered until 7 p.m. 

There are new restaurants participating this winter. Why not take this opportunity to get out and try a new spot, or head back to some of your favorites. With so many different cuisines and options to choose from, you are sure to find something to suit your palate. Bon Appétit!

Here is the list of participating Suffolk County restaurants, click on the Restaurant name for menu options or to make a reservation :

Alexandros Kitchen and Bar (631) 979-9700  Suffolk – Smithtown, Mediterranean

Alexandros Restaurant (631) 928- 8600  Suffolk – Mount Sinai, Mediterranean

Athenian Greek Taverna  (631) 499-7660  Suffolk – Commack, Greek

Avino’s Italian Table (631) 803-6416  Suffolk – Bellport, Italian

Babylon Carriage House (631) 422-5161  Suffolk – Babylon, American

Barmani’s Kitchen and Bar (631) 659-3889  Suffolk – Huntington, Continental

Bella Vie  (631) 500-9045 Suffolk – Bay Shore, Italian

Besito Mexican  (516) 620-3222  Suffolk – West Islip, Mexican

Besito Mexican  (631) 549-0100  Suffolk – Huntington, Mexican

Bistro 25   (631) 589-7775  Suffolk – Sayville, New American

Bistro 58 (631) 881-6013  Suffolk – Islandia, American

Bistro Cassis Huntington (631) 881- 6013  Suffolk – Huntington, French

Café Buenos Aires (631) 603- 3600  Suffolk – Huntington, French

Cafe Havana Bar And Grill  (631) 670-6277  Suffolk – Smithtown, Cuban

Café Joelle (631) 589-4600  Suffolk – Sayville, American

Captain Bill’s  (631) 665-6262 Suffolk – Bay Shore, Seafood

Casa Rustica  (631) 265-9265  Suffolk – Smithtown, Italian

Chachama (631) 758-7640  Suffolk – East Patchogue, New American

Chop Shop Bar and Grill (631) 360-3380  Suffolk – Smithtown, American

Cinque Terre Ristorante  (631) 923-1255  Suffolk – Huntington Sta., Italian

Drift 82  (631) 714-4950  Suffolk – Patchogue, American

Garden Grill Restaurant  (631) 265-8771  Suffolk – Smithtown, American

George Martin’s Strip Steak (631) 650-6777  Suffolk – Great River, Steakhouse

H20 East Islip  (631) 277-4800  Suffolk – East Islip, Seafood

H20 Smithtown   (631) 361-6464  Suffolk – Smithtown, Seafood

Honu Kitchen & Cocktails  (631) 421-6900  Suffolk – Huntington, American

Imperial Meat Company (631) 824-6222  Suffolk – Huntington, Steakhouse

Irish Coffee Pub   (631) 277-0007  Suffolk – East Islip, Continental

ITA Kitchen (631) 267-5916  Suffolk – Bayshore, Italian

Jonathan’s Ristorante  (631) 549-0055  Suffolk – Huntington, Italian

Konoba Huntington (631) 824-7712  Suffolk – Huntington, Mediterranean

La Parma II Italian Restaurant (631) 367-6360  Suffolk – Huntington, Italian

LaTavola (631) 750-6900  Suffolk – Sayville, Italian

Le Soir Restaurant  (631) 472-9090  Suffolk – Bayport, French

Lombardi’s on the Bay (631) 654- 8970  Suffolk – Patchogue, Italian

Mac’s Steakhouse (631) 549-5300  Suffolk – Huntington, Steakhouse

Maria’s (631) 979-7724  Suffolk – Nesconset, Latin

Matteo’s of Huntington (631) 421- 6001  Suffolk – Huntington Station, Italian

Mirabelle Restaurant & Tavern (631) 751-0555 Suffolk – Stony Brook, French

Mission Taco (631) 614-8226 Suffolk – Huntington, Mexican

Monsoon   (631) 587-4400  Suffolk – Babylon, Asian

Nantuckets  (631) 509-4848  Suffolk – Port Jefferson, American

Orto  (631) 473-0014  Suffolk – Miller Place, Italian

Pasta Pasta  (631) 331-5335  Suffolk – Port Jefferson, Italian

Piccola Bussola Ristorante (631) 692- 6300  Suffolk – Huntington, Italian

Piccola Mondo (631) 462-0718 Suffolk – Huntington, Italian

Pietro Cucina Italiana (631) 862-6129  Suffolk – St. James, Italian

Pine Grove Inn Steakhouse & Seafood (732) 900-4978  Suffolk – East Patchogue, American

Raimo’s of Amityville (631) 608-3260  Suffolk – Amityville, Italian

Recipe Seven Cocktails and Kitchen (631) 331-5454 Suffolk – Miller Place, American

RHUM Island Inspired Cuisine & Rum Bar  (631) 569-5944  Suffolk – Patchogue, Eclectic

Ristegio’s (631) 731- 3663  Suffolk – Patchogue, American

Salt & Barrel  (631) 647-8818  Suffolk – BayShore, Seafood

Sandbar Restaurant (631) 498-6188  Suffolk – Cold Spring Harbor, American

Sea Basin Restaurant (631) 744-1643 Suffolk – Rocky Point, Seafood

Snapper Inn  (631) 589-0248  Suffolk – Oakdale, Seafood

Taormina Ristorante (631) 499-6900  Suffolk – Commack, Italian

The Blue (631) 446-4233  Suffolk – Islip, American

The Fish Store (631) 472-3018  Suffolk – Bayport, Seafood

The LakeHouse Restaurant (631) 666-0995  Suffolk – Bayshore, New American

The Main Event (631) 522-1030  Suffolk – Farmingdale, American

The Sayville Inn (631) 319- 6774  Suffolk – Sayville, American

Ting Restaurant (631) 425-7788  Suffolk – Huntington, Asian

Verace  (631) 277-3800  Suffolk – Islip, Italian

View Restaurant  (631) 589-2694  Suffolk – Oakdale, Seafood

Vittorio’s Italian Steakhouse (631) 264-3333  Suffolk – Amityville, Steakhouse

Wave Steakhouse and Seafood (631) 928-5200  Suffolk – Port Jefferson, American

Whalers (631) 647-9300 Suffolk – Bayshore, New American

Long Island Restaurant Week is a tri-annual event designed to garner positive publicity and additional business for the region’s restaurants. Since 2006, it has been an annual November promotion until the first spring Long Island Restaurant Week was launched in April 2011 and then winter was added in January of 2016, due to popular customer and restaurateur demand.  Don’t miss out, get out and be a part of this popular event!

 

Bellport High School Robotics Team Attends First LI TECH Challenge Qualifier 281

Bellport High School’s Bellport Clippers Team 12899 participated in the FIRST Long Island TECH Challenge qualifier, a robotics competition, held at William Floyd High School on Jan. 11. Under the direction of high school technology teacher Jaime Canjura and alumnus Brian Larkin, the 11-member robotics team competed against 21 Long Island teams from Suffolk and Nassau counties.

FIRST Tech Challenge teams are challenged to design, build, program and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge each year. The team’s next competition will be held on Feb. 2 at the Long Island School for The Gifted in Huntington.

Since the 2018-19 school year, the team has doubled in size and hopes to continue growing due to the interest of incoming eighth grade students participating in the Bellport Middle School FIRST Lego League.

“The team’s philosophy is to inspire students to be and do their best,” Mr. Canjura explained. “We follow the concept of Gracious Professionalism, a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.”

The South Country Central School District extends team members Joseph Balsamo (lead software engineer and programmer), Jake D’Esposito (programmer and IT), Robert Gronenthal (secretary and robot chassis designer), Isaiah James (team president and lead designer), Chris Lannon, Thomas Miller (treasurer), Ainesis Reid (media, marketing and programming), Soteria Reid (media and marketing specialist), Antonio Suarez (mechanical hardware technician and designer trainee), Jack Stark (mechanical hardware technician and designer trainee) and Michael Vengroski (team captain and lead designer) best wishes for success.

Photo caption: Members of Bellport High School’s Bellport Clippers Team 12899 held their robot designed for the FIRST robotics competitions.

Photo courtesy of the South Country Central School District

 

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