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.


  1. As a Venezuelan I'm not used to the trick or treat thing, and since I had heard that Halloween is not a big deal in Italy I didn't expect much. But as it turns out my bell rang twice with a nice group of kids, all dressed up and in very good mood! my two year old son didn't know were to be scared or amused, jajaja. I was told by a parent that Halloween is picking up. I live in Borgoricco, 20 minutos from Padova.

    Next Halloween will be better for sure. At least I don't think it will rain like this year.


  2. I read that Halloween is spreading abroad. Nice to hear your take on it.

    Other than the two you mentioned, what types of celebrations or festivals do they have in Padua in November? (and what is the weather like this time of year?)

  3. Bernie, I am glad you were pleasantly surprised. As for the rain, nothing can be as bad as this past weekend for a while.
    Tarrant, no other November celebrations, I am afraid. The Italians are waiting for December 8th, the Immaculate Conception, and a long Christmas holiday.

  4. Hi my name is Emily from Colorado in the United States! I know this is totally random but for my World Literature class we were asked to select a country and research it. One of our assignments was to get in contact with a living resident from that country and ask a few questions. So if you don't mind me taking some of your time and asking a few questions that would be great!

  5. Emily M-you can write me some questions to my email at or skype me. Where are you studying? If you prefer to skype, send me an email and I will give you my skype name.

  6. We have this exploratory project that we had to pick a country and I picked Italy! I'm a Senior at Arapahoe High School. I'll email you the questions thanks so much!