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Halloween is a time when ghosts and goblins rule the night, but at Swan’s Trail Farms it’s also a time for family fun and enjoyment. Every year, thousands of people visit and choose their favorite pumpkin from our patch.

They come together and carve them as a family and set them out on their porch for the world to see. Why do we carve pumpkins for Halloween? Is it just a fun family tradition or is there more to it? We’ll take a look at Jack O’ Lantern’s origins and the traditions surrounding pumpkins on Halloween.

Stingy Jack and the Jack O’Lantern

We can thank the Irish for this Halloween tradition, although it’s a little different than what we know today. According to Irish folklore, Stingy Jack was a man who wasn’t keen on paying for his drinks.

One day, he invited the devil to a local pub to have a few drinks. He convinced the devil to change himself into a coin, so he could use it to buy their drinks. Clever Jack placed the coin into his pocket next to a silver cross, which kept the devil from changing back.

Jack blackmailed the devil asking him to not bother him for a year and the devil could not claim his soul. A year later, the devil came back, but Jack was ready. 

He convinced the devil to climb into a tree and pick some fruit. While the devil was up there, Jack carved the sign of the cross into the tree and trapped the devil. He said he wouldn’t let him down unless the devil promised to not bother him for 10 years.

Eventually, Jack died. He went to heaven, but God didn’t want such an unsavory character there. He went to hell and the devil was still mad at him for all the tricks Jack pulled on him through the years. The devil sent Jack into the night to wander for eternity with only a small piece of coal for light. 

Jack carved out a turnip and placed the piece of coal into it to create a lamp. He still roams the world with his glowing turnip to this day and the people called him Jack of the Lantern. The tradition of placing a light into a pumpkin comes from this tale.

Immigrants used actual burning coals in the original Jack O’Lanterns, but that’s changed to small candles and now to flashlights and electric lights. It’s much safer and gives you more color options. 

Why Do We Carve Pumpkins for Halloween?

With old Stingy Jack roaming the Irish and Scottish countryside, the superstitious people needed a way to keep him and other spirits from entering their home on All Hallows Eve. They started carving scary faces into turnips and placing a piece of coal inside them to scare off Stingy Jack and the other spirits that roamed on Halloween.

This has been a tradition in Europe for centuries, but when the Irish began migrating to America, they brought the tradition with them. Pumpkins were larger and more readily available than turnips, so they carved them and placed a lump of burning coal inside them.

Today, we may not believe in Jack of the Lantern, but that doesn’t mean the tradition didn’t stick. While pumpkin carving today is a family fun activity, we trace its root back to the unfortunate story of Stingy Jack and his unsavory ways.

Halloween and All Hallows Eve

Jack of the Lantern roams the world for eternity, so why do we only carve pumpkins for Halloween and not throughout the year?

In ancient times in Ireland, the Celts celebrated Samhain. This was a festival to celebrate the harvest and the coming of the dark and cold winter. It was the equivalent of the Celtic New Year. 

The Celts didn’t have warm furnaces like we do today or grocery stores where they could buy food. Winter often met starvation and freezing. Many people died during this time and the celts associated death with winter. 

Since it represented death, they believed this time was when the veil between the living and dead was at its thinnest. They were able to walk around and cause trouble with people and the crops. It was also when Celtic priests believed they could best divine the future.

People dressed up in costumes and told each other’s fortunes. Fast forward and few hundred years and Rome conquered the Celts and combined some of the Celtic religious festivals with their own. 

To supplant the traditional Samhain celebration, the Catholic Church moved All Saint’s Day to celebrate the saints and martyrs to Nov. 1 and named Nov. 2 All Souls Day to celebrate the dead.

All Saints Day became known as All Hallows Day and the day before as All Hallows Eve or Halloween. They still believed the veil between the living and the dead was thin during this time, so that’s why they used Jack O’Lanterns to ward off the spirits.

Create Your Own Halloween Traditions at Swan’s Trail Farms

You probably won’t find spirits or ghosts roaming Swan’s Trail Farms, but you will find pumpkins of every shape and size. Moreover, we have a 50-acre pumpkin patch where you can pick the perfect pumpkins to carve and celebrate Halloween.

We also have many different events going on including our corn maze, wagon rides, and more. We also have all kinds of fall decorations available from gourds and corn stalks to hay bales.

Swan’s Trail Farms is about family fun and excitement. We wind down our year with our pumpkin patch and fall decorations, so come out and find out why people consider us one of Washington’s must-see family adventures.

Swan’s Trail Farms Is Open Until Oct 31.

Our pumpkin patch is available for picking from September 26-October 31. Come out and enjoy fresh apple cider, the juiciest apples you’ve ever seen and events and adventures you can’t find anywhere else.

You now know why we carve pumpkins on Halloween, so come out and pick your own. If you want to learn more about what Swan’s Trail Farms has to offer, then please contact us today. We can’t wait to see you. 

When people think of farms, they imagine large tractors plowing fields and harvesting massive crops to sell at grocery stores. Swans Trail Farms is more about family fun and adventure than getting crops to the grocery store.

We have a large variety of apples and pumpkins that you can pick from. We use our own apples to create delicious treats that you get while you’re picking apples or pumpkins. Our Washington farm fall activities are second to none, so take time to visit us before we close for the season.

Let us show you all the fun fall activities have to offer you and your Washington family.

Apple Picking in Washington

Is there anything more enjoyable than the taste of a crisp and delicious apple? We have five acres of apple trees filled to the brim with ripe and delectable apples.

Don’t buy apples from grocery stores that are covered in wax just to make them look shiny. Come pick your own at Swans Trail farms and enjoy a family experience. Walk through our trees in the cool fall weather and take pictures as you search for the perfect apples.

Keep them at home to eat or bake them in a pie. There are so many delicious foods you can make from our apples. You don’t even have to bring any bags or containers, we’ve got everything you need.

Washington Pumpkin Picking

Fall is the time of the year when Mother Nature gets ready for winter. The tree leaves turn a golden brown and our 50-acre pumpkin patch is ready for picking. Halloween is one of the best holidays of the year.

You dress up in costumes and carve pumpkins to put on your porch. Come visit our Washington pumpkin patch and find your carving pumpkin. We have them in every shape and size, so no matter what you want to do, we have something for you.

Pumpkin carving is a fun family tradition, but you can do so much with pumpkins. You can make pies or muffins from them and roast up the seeds for a tasty snack. Grab your carving pumpkins and few extras to use for cooking or other fall decorations.

Get Your Fall Decorations at the Country Store

Fall is a beautiful time of year. Our country store has a large variety of fall decorations to choose from as well as food and drink. If decorations aren’t your thing, then consider grabbing a caramel apple or fresh apple cider. 

Who knows what you’ll find for your home or your stomach at our country store? We pride ourselves on providing some of the best decorations and food for our guests.

Take Time to Traverse the Corn Maze

Everyone likes a puzzle, and you can’t get much better than our Washington State Corn Maze. People turned shrubbery and tall bushes into elaborate mazes for centuries. The corn maze trend hit the U.S. in the early 80s.

Cornfields make the perfect maze with their straight narrow rows. We take our time and plan the perfects routes for a mix of fun and safety. You won’t get lost in our corn maze for long, but you’ll love trying all the different paths before finally finding the exit.

If you have small children and don’t want to try the big corn maze, then try our kid’s corn maze. It’s not scary at all, and they’ll love finding the exit with you. Swans Trail Farms is a place for families and children, so we craft our activities for everyone to enjoy.

Pet and Feed Animals at the Petting Farm

No farm is complete without a large stable of animals. While most farms use these animals for food and milk, we prefer ours get petted and fed. People from places like Seattle don’t see farm animals very often. 

Bring your children to Swans Trail Farms and show them the wonders of the animal kingdom as they feed chickens and see all the wonderful animals you find on a farm. 

Plenty of Barnyard Activities for Children and Families

If you’re looking for a place to spend a day having fun without breaking the bank, then check out Swans Trail Farms. We guarantee you won’t see these fun adventures at a standard farm.

Ever tried to pit your strength against a tractor? Our tractor pull lets you and your family grab a rope and go toe-to-toe with a tractor. Who will win?

Our dump truck roller slide is fun for all ages. You’ll see a dump truck bed tipped up with rollers that let children safely slide down. Don’t forget to take pictures as they go down the slide.

Let your children play in the corn box or our 50-foot triple indoor slides. We have jumping pillows and a hay pyramid too. There is so much fun to have at Swans Trail Farms.

Little kids can’t wait to take a ride on the cow train or traverse the hay maze. Ever wonder how heavy a bale of hay actually is? Try out the hay hoist and see if you can get it all the way to the top.

There’s even a barnyard sports zone if you want to try something more physical.

Swans Trail Farms is Your Place Washington Farm Fall Activities

Every year thousands of people visit our farm and have the time of their life. We made a mark when it comes to Washington Farm Fall Activities. We have many activities for people of all ages and come up with new ones every year. Fall is the perfect time to visit us to enjoy a few hours of apple picking or trying your hand at the barnyard sports zone.

When the leaves turn and the fruit gets ripe, it’s time to pack up the family and head out to Swans Trail Farms to find the perfect pumpkin and enjoy fresh apple cider. 

If you want to learn more about what’s going on at Swans Trail Farms, then contact us today