A Jack-o’-Lantern is a pumpkin carved with a grinning or evil face for the holiday of Halloween. Usually the pumpkin’s inside flesh is scooped out and a candle placed inside so that the carved face is lit with a spooky glow. Most Jack-o’-Lanterns have a wide smile that stretches across the width of the pumpkin.
The Jack-o’-Lantern tradition probably originated in Ireland, where on the holiday of Samhain lamps were made from turnips with faces carved into them. This is the time of year when fairies, spirits and evil beings were most active, and so the lamps were most likely used either to appease these creatures or to frighten them away.