Lanterns made of carved pumpkins are a common symbol signifying Halloween. Folklore dictates that there was a drunken prankster named jack who managed to trick the Devil into climbing up a tree and trapping him by carving an image of a cross on it. After making the Devil promise to leave him alone, Jack let him off. But the Devil got his revenge upon Jack’s death. Denied entry into Heaven, the Devil also barred Jack from Hell. Jack was then doomed to wander the earth as a restless spirit.
To help keep him warm and to find his way around, the Devil gave him a single ember carried in a Hollowed out turnip. Pumpkins were made popular when Irish immigrants to the U.S. bought with them the culture. They couldn’t find any turnips but used pumpkins instead.
Halloween is now more of cultural tradition than a festival of the dead, but trace elements of ancient influences can still be found. The costumes worn by children going trick or treating ( which was an ancient practice by beggars going from door to door asking for food in exchange for a prayer), is an excellent example.