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Auguri di Halloween!

Oct
24
2006

Italians have imported Halloween. Adopted it, co-opted it. Taken it over. To an extent, they celebrate it better than Americans.

How so? Well, for one thing they have kept their own holiday, All Saints Day, November 1. But All Saints is a “real” holiday, a bank holiday. So when Italians party on Halloween, they get to sleep off ghoulish revelry on All Saints, a major plus.

There’s no annoying trick-or-treating (are there still parts of America where you can dress up as a witch and take candy from strangers? Without putting it through a metal detector or sending it to the crime lab first?), which has more or less always been overrated.

I mean, candy corn, mini-Snickers bars, Tootsie Rolls.

Do you really want to compare that to pumpkin risotto, chocolate-covered chestnuts and cinammon-spiced Bread of the Dead? Didn’t think so. That’s the kind of fall fare Italians partake of at outdoor fests this time of year that’s being incorporated into this new tradition.

Which is another advantage: macabre-minded Italians get to celebrate more or less the entire month of October. In the manner of Carnival, if something is worth feting, it’s worth doing for more than just a one-night.

This Halloween thing is a relatively new development (and before you ask, they don’t actually wish each other Happy Halloween by saying “auguri.” It’s a bit of artistic license…), so of course there have been a few naysayers.

Boo! I say. Too late! Halloween’s got way too much going for it. A few years from now, obesity-fighting americani may be importing the decidedly civilized Italian version.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 5:13 PM | Permalink

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