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How Did the Pumpkin Become a Symbol of Halloween?

The right logo can become a symbol of your business. Which means no matter where the logo is displayed, people know it's your business – even when nothing is written. Just think of the golden arches of McDonalds or Santa Claus to represent Christmas. Speaking of popular holidays, do you know how the pumpkin became a symbol of Halloween? Despite what you may hear, it didn't start with pies or lattes!

A Celtic Tradition

One of the reasons pumpkins are used on Halloween is that it's easy to sculpt faces and drawings in this vegetable. But where exactly does this strange tradition come from? It is in Ireland that we find the use of vegetables to scare away evil spirits. It was believed that on October 31st at the pagan feast of Samhain, which became Halloween over time, the spirits of the deceased could return to Earth. So, they had to find a way to keep evil spirits away. To do so, they started cutting faces into turnips to scare the evil spirits. In the 19th century, when a lot of Irish immigrated to the United States, they brought the Halloween tradition of using vegetables to scare the spirits away. In America, the Irish discovered a new vegetable, the pumpkin, which is harvested in the fall, and began using it to scare the evil spirits. It was also probably easier to carve a face on a pumpkin than on a turnip!

The use of the English term Jack O'Lantern for a Halloween pumpkin also came from Ireland. Legend has it that a man named Jack managed to overtake the devil in a deal, preventing the devil from taking his soul. However, as Jack had been evil, stingy and selfish during his life, he was denied entry to heaven when he died and, as promised, he was not summoned to hell. Jack's soul was thus doomed to wander for eternity and people began to draw scary faces on their vegetables to keep him away from their homes. Another version of this story claims that it was an old word for the lights that appeared in cemeteries.

A Fruit or a Vegetable as a Logo?

Do you find it strange that a vegetable can be used as a symbol? It may not be as unusual as you may think. There are a few companies that have chosen a fruit or a vegetable as their logo. Just think of the very successful American company Apple! The famous Steve Jobs may have been inspired by the fruit because he had worked in an orchard during his youth. Others have claimed that the apple was a tribute to Isaac Newton or Alan Turing, but these stories have been denied by the company over the years.

 Other companies have also used fruits and vegetables to create their logos. One can think of the website Rotten Tomatoes, known for its film and TV reviews. In this situation, tomatoes have a meaning as they were used at one point in time to punish actors for a poor performance. When a film or TV series is liked, it is considered "fresh" by the site. On the contrary, when it is bad, it is considered on the site to be "rotten". The tomato has now become a symbol of quality.

 We also have another tech product whose name and logo are a fruit: BlackBerry! You have to wonder what a berry and a cell phone have in common. Initially, RIM wanted to call its phone "strawberry" because the keys on the keyboard reminded them of strawberry seeds. They ended up changing their minds and chose BlackBerry, designing their logo accordingly. According to some, the BlackBerry logo was created by superimposing the letter B several times and keeping only the inside of the B.

 And Why Not Use the Color Orange?

 If you're not a fan of fruits or vegetables, why not opt for a dose of energy by incorporating the color orange into your logo? It is not a widely used color and it brings both youth and freshness to a logo. Plus, it is not so gaudy that it doesn’t go with anything. Several companies such as Fanta, Nickelodeon or FedEx, as well as several sports teams have been able to use this color very well in their logo. Orange is also a color associated with autumn, heat, Halloween, and purity in some countries or religions. This is the color to use if you want to attract attention!

In conclusion, we hope you will see pumpkins decorated for Halloween in a different way! As well, we hope that you will be able to fend off evil spirits! On another thought, will you be able to create a logo from a fruit or vegetable for your business? Logos become symbols when, upon first sight, we think of the company before thinking of the original meaning. Who would have thought that a company called Apple would make itself known on every continent? Don't hesitate to use the color orange to give a little liveliness to your image!

Happy Halloween!

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