Monday, November 1, 2010

Trying to Celebrate Halloween

It's not always so easy here. This year I resorted to making mini-Jack o' Lanterns from Melinda-brand golden delicious apples instead of sculpting a nice orange American pumpkin. I was in the Dolomites for Halloween this year and it is not as easy to get American-style things there. Then I was further disappointed last night because my lanterns were outside during the rainiest eve of the last 5 years, in my opinion. There wasn't a soul outside to even enjoy them during the deluge that hit this area this weekend.

Next year will be better I'm sure. Then again, I'm not in the US so I shouldn't expect much. Yet in recent years Italy has put more and more effort into promoting this American tradition. What started as an excuse for extra sales in shops like the cartoleria selling masks and witch hats and theme-nights for pubs and bars, has become an authentically borrowed festivity.

The kids in my building hanged pumpkin streamers in the stairwell 10 days ago. The elementary school teachers are doing units about the Halloween traditions. The Italians can now go trick-or-treating in the malls like many US childen do. At least this is what happens in the city.

However this year in the Dolomites, Halloween did not seem to have any impact. Rather, the people were more concerned about their own holidays: Ognissanti (All Saints' Day) today and La Festa dei Morti (The Holiday of the Dead) tomorrow. In their tradition, church was in order today to honor the saints and tomorrow they will be visiting the cemetaries and their deceased relatives to pay respects.