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Halloween : Not such a Cliché in ItalySubmitted by admin on Tue, 10/20/2015 – 08:16
Halloween in Italy: is it just an excuse for kids to spray shaving foam on strangers’ cars, and for adults to dress up and party, or is there more to it?
These days, many have the feeling that Halloween has become more popular, especially among the younger generations, than Italy’s very own Carnevale, those two weeks right before Lent when Italians get crazy about dressing up and playing tricks on their friends. Sounds familiar? Yes, it does remind a lot of what Americans do on Halloween. Carnevale has plenty in common with Halloween and not only because it’s a holiday with a penchant for tricks and costumes: there is some food only cooked this time of the year, too and, of course, the Carri di Carnevale, some of them (think of Venice and Viareggio) known all over the world.
In Italy, however, Halloween has been making amazing progress over the past few years. And according to research, the search term “Halloween” comes up more often on Italian online searches than “Carnevale”. Are Italians all becoming Halloween fanatics?
Italy imported this festival from the USA through films, TV and pop culture. It all started as a way to entertain children with the famous trick-or-treat routine. Certainly, Carnevale is still superior, but tendencies are looking undoubtedly more and more in favor to Halloween. This is throwing some controversy into the laps of religious authorities in Italy. Halloween is starting to develop a superior influence over Italy’s All Saints and All Souls Day, on November 1st and 2nd respectively, and many worry about the fact that it may turn what is supposed to be a time to remember our dead with love and cherish, into yet another occasion to party.
However, if we look at the true origins and the true meaning of Halloween, we’ll see that they’re not that different from what Italians celebrate on All Saints and All Souls Day. If, from a commercial point of view, Halloween is an All-American product, its spirit is rooted in antiquity and comes very much from Europe. Halloween, known by the Celts as Samhain, was originally nothing more than a day to remember and honor the souls of the dead. It’s been here since before Christ, witness to the wholly human necessity to remember and love those who are no longer physically with us. Celebrations of Halloween were popular in Ireland and Scotland and when people from these countries emigrated to the US in the 19th century, they brought this custom along. America then made of Halloween what we know today, whereas Europe remained attached to the more spiritually oriented celebrations of All Saints and All Souls Day.
(For more of the story http://www.lifeinitaly.com/culture/halloween.asp)
~GinaHalloween’s origins are, in fact, very Christian. Halloween falls on October 31 because of a Pope, and its observances are the result of medieval Catholic piety.UCATHOLIC.COM|BY GUEST BLOGGER
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Have a Great, Scary Day!