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Buon Halloween Posted by on Oct 31, 2019 in Culture, History

Buon Halloween! 

Today is the notte di Halloween! Maybe you’re wondering, do Italians celebrate Halloween? Although it is certainly not a recognized and popular holiday, it has been growing in popularity, especially among the youth!

Some kids may head out to do some trick-or-treating, or dolcetto-scherzetto, and some adults may dress up in costume, or costumi, for fun while they go out to a bar, but don’t expect the magnitude that is Halloween night in the US. However, there are a few Italian cities that have taken the tradition and have capitalized on it!

Corinaldo, in the Marche region, has nicknamed themselves the Italian capital of Halloween. For a week leading up to Halloween, this medieval walled city features shows, activities, decorations, and even a “Miss Witch” or, Signorina Strega, competition!

Corinaldo

In Borgo a Mazzano, not far from Lucca, Tuscany, the city boasts the first and biggest Halloween celebration in Italy. The celebration takes place around the “Devil’s Bridge” in the town and originated in 1993. There are also games and decorations, a zombie festival, horror movies, and an interactive game called “La Notte Nera.” Check out their website: http://www.halloweencelebration.it.

Triora, close to Imperia in the region of Liguria, is also a city known for their Halloween celebrations. The town was where the last witch trials were held during the Renaissance, and therefore has developed many folk-lore and horror themed events, one of which falls on Halloween. The “City of Witches” or streghe have posted some pictures of their annual celebrations on their website: http://nuke.triorando.it/Home/tabid/160/Default.aspx/.

Triora

Despite Halloween not being a recognized holiday in Italy, it is surrounding two that are. November 1st is the Catholic holiday of All Saints’ day, or Ognissanti or Tutti I Santi, and November 2nd is All Souls’ Day, or Il Giorno dei Morti. During these holidays, Italian cemeteries are filled as relatives pay respect to their ancestors by cleaning their graves and leaving flowers, candles, and wreaths. These are both feast days, where Italians will gather and eat as a family to celebrate. All Saints’ day is a public holiday, so Italians will have off, but All Souls’ day is not.

Tocca a voi! Have you ever been in Italy during the time of Halloween or All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ day? What did you think, what did you experience?

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Comments:

  1. Eileen:

    T here is a small hill top village , Monzone Alto.in Lunigiana, where the whole village takes part in the preparation for Halloween. Narrow steep streets are transformed into dark tunnels with nooks and crannies containing ghoulish scenes; the villagers dress up in all manner of costumes. The steps are lit by candles. None of this would happen in England as health and safety rules would prevent it. All free with a donations box at the one entrance. And of course the usual array of food and drink. Fantastic effort and very atmospheric.

  2. Margaret:

    Although this experience did not occur in Italy I would like to share it. Five years ago on All Souls Day I was in Santiago de Compostela in Spain where I participated in the mass and a processional in the attached courtyard of the cathedral where there were people buried under the walkway. It was a very impressive and moving ceremony with several robed priests leading us in prayers and responses from the followers as we approached each. What made it even more meaningful for me was that my father had died exactly a year prior.

  3. John Au:

    Molto interessante, grazie.
    E’ possible che scriva un blog su l’uso della parola “pure” in italiano?


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