Pumpkins and Halloween in Everland-A A +A
By Luci Lizares
Sunday, October 28, 2012
WITH Halloween coming on the 31st, the season for ghosts and paranormal creatures, why do we see the pumpkins as the ubiquitous décor? My research tells me that Jack O’ Lanterns originated from the tradition of carving the faces of lost souls on hollowed out pumpkins and turnips. A candle is placed inside the pumpkins to make the faces glow. The Halloween lanterns were placed on doorsteps to drive away evil spirits.
Halloween is a predominantly Western celebration but would you believe that it is recognized as the 3rd biggest party following New Year’s and the Super Bowl Sunday in America?
In the Philippines, we have adapted the Trick or Treat for our children and I used to dress my boys in all kinds of costumes to make the adventure more fun! Treat or treating is thought to have its origins in a European custom called “souling” where people would beg for soul cakes.
As to pumpkins, we do have a lot here but the fruit is believed to have originated in Central America. Pumpkins as well as their seeds were celebrated food of the Native American Indians who treasured them for their dietary and medicinal properties.
As to their role of the Jack O’ Lantern during Halloween, this practice is based on an Irish myth nicknamed "Stingy Jack." The story goes that Stingy Jack invited the Devil to have a drink with him. True to his name, Stingy Jack didn't want to pay for his drink, so he convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin that Jack could use to buy their drinks. Once the Devil did so, Jack decided to keep the money and put it into his pocket next to a silver cross, which prevented the Devil from changing back into his original form.
Jack eventually freed the Devil, under the condition that he would not bother Jack for one year and that, should Jack die, he would not claim his soul. The next year, Jack again tricked the Devil into climbing into a tree to pick a piece of fruit. While he was up in the tree, Jack carved a sign of the cross into the tree's bark so that the Devil could not come down until the Devil promised Jack not to bother him for ten more years.
Soon after, Jack died. As the legend goes, God would not allow such an unsavory figure into heaven. The Devil, upset by the trick Jack had played on him and keeping his word not to claim his soul, would not allow Jack into hell as well. He sent Jack off into the dark night with only a burning coal to light his way. Jack put the coal into a carved out turnip and has been roaming the Earth with it ever since. The Irish began to refer to this ghostly figure as "Jack of the Lantern," and then, simply "Jack O'Lantern." When the immigrants came to America, they brought the myth with them and found that pumpkins, a fruit native to America, make perfect Jack O' Lanterns.
Greeting us at Everland Resort were giant Jack O’Lanters. Everland Resort, South Korea's largest theme park which is a good two-hour ride from Seoul, is ranked 13th in the world for amusement park attendance in 2011. Everland is operated by Samsung Everland, of course, which is a subsidiary of the Samsung Group.
Everland Resort, though originally called ‘Yongin Jayeon Nongwon,’ changed its name to ‘Everland’ to make it more familiar internationally. Full of exciting attractions and entertainment, Everland is one of the most popular places in Korea for families, friends, and couples.
The front entrance of Everland is the Global Fair which is home to a large bazaar decorated with reproductions of castles from France, Middle Eastern countries, Spain, India, and Russia. Not only visually captivating, the various architectural styles invite visitors into the culture and history of other nations, such as the Ancient and Medieval Periods of Europe.
With just one hour allocated to us to enjoy the place, we immersed ourselves in the Four Seasons Garden, which was decorated with beautiful flowers arranged in a French garden style. Since flowers are seasonal, chrysanthemum blooms were the most predominant and of course with Halloween up in the air there were pumpkins, pumpkins everywhere! Pumpkins made out of flowers and big huge pumpkins!
There is the Zoo Topia section of the park where guests can find the ever-popular Safari World and Herbivore Safari. In safari world white tigers, tigers, lions, and bears roam freely, providing guests with an up-close look at these amazing creatures. In Herbivore Safari, visitors can even feed some of their favorite animals.
The Caribbean Bay is a huge water park equipped with multiple attractions and health facilities. Modeled after the pristine beaches of the Caribbean and decorated with Spanish-styled stone buildings, palm trees, tropical plants, and a shipwreck, guests will feel like they’ve taken a tropical vacation without ever leaving the country. Caribbean Bay has a number of hair-raising waterslides and a relaxing lazy man river. The Sea Zone generates waves over 2.4m-high and is a huge crowd favorite. To break away from the sun, escape to the Indoor Water Park to enjoy the Wave Pool, Children’s Pool, or the various spa-like facilities with herbal treatments using jasmine, peppermint, lemon, ginseng, and mugwort.
I know my sons will love the Everland Speedway, the first car racing track in Korea. Everland Speedway offers thrilling car races year-round (such as Motor Championship Contest).
Then in tune with Halloween, there is Spooky’s Fun House located in Magic Land. The Spooky Fun House offers visitors a fun-filled journey in the world of magic and mystery, led by the cute little ghost, ‘Spooky.’ Pressing bells, pushing photo frames, or simply passing through corridors unleashes fresh bouts of fun sounds and visual effects.
If you are traveling with your family or just friends to South Korea, Everland is a must go destination.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on October 28, 2012.